Tag Archives: nut definition

Nuts: to be or not to be …

Mixed Nuts

Do you know your nuts? (And I don’t mean that in a rude or ungrammatical way.)

I thought I did know, especially since I’m allergic to them. But I really don’t. I was aware that the fabulous peanut, which seems to be the quintessential nut in both name and appearance, isn’t actually a nut (it’s a legume). But it seems that the peanut isn’t the only impostor in our nutty midst. Take a look at the picture of the mixed nuts above. Those various protein forms have little in common with each other — they’re different colors, shapes, sizes, tastes and textures; in fact, the only quality they seem to share is the fact that they’re edible and plant-based. So what makes them nuts? (And I don’t mean to suggest they’re angry.) Well, that’s a hard question to answer — a tough nut to crack — because most of them aren’t actually nuts, at least not technically. Only one of the items pictured can lay rightful claim to that generic label.* So what exactly is a nut? And why do we call someone a nut — or nuts — when they’re off their trolleys? Continue reading