God gives the nuts, but he does not crack them.

FRANZ KAFKA (1883-1924)


Dangerous Pistachios

Pistachios aren’t true nuts but are deadly dangerous. They are classified under Class 4.2. of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) code: Flammable Solids (Substances Liable To Spontaneous Combustion). Fresh pistachios, especially if stacked under pressure, can burst into flames causing a cargo fire.
A further hazard is that the metabolic processes of fresh pistachios continue after harvesting. They absorb oxygen and excrete carbon dioxide. This can be a serious problem when transporting them by sea. If there is inadequate ventilation, seamen entering the hold of a cargo ship can die from carbon dioxide poisoning or from lack of oxygen. Brazil nuts, peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, copra, and sunflower seeds are equally dangerous.

True Nuts

Nuts are defined as a simple, dry fruit with one seed (very occasionally two) in which the seed case wall becomes very hard at maturity. True nuts include: pecan, sweet chestnut, beech, acorns, hazel, filbert, hornbeam, birch and alder. Peanuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, coconuts, horse chestnuts and pine nuts are not nuts.
Peanuts, also known as groundnuts, earthnuts, goobers, goober peas, pindas, pinders, Manila nuts and monkey nuts, are actually a type of pea which grows underground. They are native to South America but now widely cultivated, notably in Georgia, USA. Some people are so severely allergic to peanuts that eating a tiny amount (or even inhaling peanut dust) can be fatal; but these people may not be allergic to true nuts.
Cashews aren't nuts. They are the seeds of the cashew drupe, a member of the poison-ivy family. The cashew's seed lining contains a powerful irritant called anacardic acid (which is why they never come in their skin). The botanical name Anacardium refers to the shape of the fruit, which looks like an inverted heart (ana 'upwards' and cardium 'heart'). Cashews really do come from Brazil. The Portuguese planted them in Goa in the late 1500s and from there they spread through Asia and Africa. 

can remember the hiding places of up to 10,000 nuts.

In Brazil, Brazil nuts are called chestnuts.

All nuts are fruit.

Nuts in May

The children's song 'Here we go gathering nuts in May' doesn’t make sense are there are no nuts to gather in May. It is a corruption of the phrase 'Here we go gathering knots of may' and refers to the ancient custom of picking bunches (knots) of flowers on May Day to celebrate the end of winter.

More people die from nut allergies and insect stings in a year than by adder bites in a century.


The harder the nut, the sweeter the kernel.

Under extreme high pressure, diamonds can be made from peanut butter.