This is Nuts!
June 07, 2017

This is Nuts!

The 2017 Fresno Food Expo will definitely have something in store for all of the Snack Buyers out there, especially if you're looking for nuts! Since our Nut Category seems to be growing daily with new exhibitors, we thought it would only be appropriate to dedicate our next blog post to these healthy snack foods that the Valley produces.

California may have a reputation for being a little nutty, but we are actually a lot nutty.
Nearly 90% of each year’s nut production in the United States is harvested from California, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource center.

California is where you can grow, harvest, and consume:
- Almonds
- Black Walnuts
- English Walnuts
- Chestnuts
- Hazelnuts
- Pecans
- Pine Nuts
- Pistachios

Moreover, California is the nation’s sole exporter of almonds, pistachios, and walnuts.

So, what makes Central California the prime real estate for harvesting those three tree nuts?


ALMONDS
The reason almond growers (and the trees themselves!) do so well in Central California is that the state has the perfect Mediterranean climate for almonds. It also features rich soils, water availability, and infrastructures to help production.

California produces 70% of the world’s almonds, according to Hilltop Ranch. It’s also the top agricultural export and largest tree nut crop in top dollar and acreage.

From a nutritional (and foodie) point of view, there are many benefits to eating almonds. They lower blood sugar levels, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reduce hunger (thus increase weight loss), and are packed with healthy fats, vitamin E, and magnesium. Plus, they’re a quick and easy form of protein.

Almond fun fact: Franciscan missionaries planted almond trees as they journeyed along the California coast from San Diego to Sonoma.


WALNUTS (Black and English)
California walnuts supply three-quarters of the world’s walnut trade, according to the California Walnut Board. More than 99% of the walnuts in the United States are grown in Central California. Six varieties of walnuts provide more than 85% of California’s yield: Chandler, Hartley, Howard, Tulare, Serr, and Vina. Best of all, walnuts have more and better antioxidants than other nuts.  According to researchers,. walnuts lower cholesterol, reduce oxidative stress, and decrease unhealthy inflammation.

Walnut fun fact: Walnuts are the oldest tree food known to man, dating back to 7,000.


PISTACHIOS
98% of the country’s pistachios are grown in Central California because of its hot summers and moderate winters. The pistachios grown in the US are drought-tolerant in comparison to other crops, so they do well in California.

Pistachios contain more than 10% of the daily value of dietary fiber and essential vitamins and minerals like B6, thiamin, copper, and phosphorus. They may help to support healthy weight and to maintain healthy blood glucose levels, too.

Pistachio fun fact: Pistachios are known as “the smiling nut” in Iran and “the happy nut” in China.

The 2017 Fresno Food Expo will have its share of nutty exhibitors, so be sure to check them out at this year's Fresno Food Expo!

Nichols Farms exhibiting at the 2016 Fresno Food Expo 

ALMONDS
Crown Nut Company
Heart Ridge Farms
Nut Up Industries
Roberts Ferry Nut Co.
Sierra Valley Almonds
Turtle Haus

PISTACHIOS
ARO Pistachios
Keenan Farms
Nature’s Joy
Nichols Farms
Setton Pistachios of Terra Bella
Wonderful

WALNUTS
Crazy Go Nuts

VARIETY
Meridian Nut Growers
Naturally Nuts
Pacific Gold Agriculture
Poindexter Nut Company
Sierra Nut House
The Naked Nut

Photos courtesy of: Toa Heftiba, Denizhan Balci, Cayte Burdick

 

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