After the “catastrophic harvest” in the Amazon rainforest, there has been a drastic reduction in Brazil's nut supply. The lack of rain in South America due to El Niño also caused Brazil nut pods to fall ahead of time, causing fewer seeds to germinate and turn into trees. Eating mixed nuts while watching the Rio Olympics made me think both about Brazil and nuts (naturally). So I decided to investigate the nut that bears the name of the South American country.
It turns out that the Brazil nut is not really a nut, and they are harvested more in Bolivia than in Brazil. In fact, there are a lot of things about Brazil nuts that are, well, a little crazy. News from Bolivia's rainforests: Brazil's walnut harvest this year has decreased by 60-70%, mainly due to El Niño. Bolivia produces approximately half of the world's supply and reports that the capsules are empty.
Trees aren't producing this year, which also means that communities that make a living harvesting this nutritious nut are likely to suffer. Bolivian authorities are planning new strategies to counter shortages due to this overwhelming drought, such as cutting vines around Brazil chestnut trees in the native rainforest, which could triple the yield of individual trees. Brazil nuts are nuts that grow from tall tropical trees in the Amazon rainforest. They grow in large shells that look like coconuts.
Inside the shell, you'll find 8-12" in Brazil nut shell. Those individual nuts have shells, which gives us the edible Brazil nut. Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) is a South American tree of the Lecythidaceae family, and is also the name of the commercially harvested edible seeds of the tree. It is one of the largest and longest-lived trees in the Amazon rainforest.
The fruit and its nut shell, which contains the edible Brazil nut, are relatively large and can weigh up to 2 kg (4 lb 7 oz) in total weight. As a food, Brazil nuts stand out for their diverse micronutrient content, especially a high amount of selenium. Brazil walnut wood is prized for its quality in carpentry, floors and heavy construction. Scientists have found that if you remove even one of these agoutis, orchid or orchid bee puzzle pieces, chestnut trees simply cannot survive or reproduce.
The Strange Way Brazil Nuts Grow One of the strangest things about Brazil nuts, Bertholletia excelsa, is the way they grow. Most Brazil nuts are sold already shelled, not only for ease of consumption, but also because of safety regulations in many countries. Brazil chestnut trees produce fruit almost exclusively in pristine forests, since disturbed forests lack large bees of the genera Bombus, Centris, Epicharis, Eulaema and Xylocopa, which are the only ones capable of pollinating the tree's flowers, with different genera of bees being the main pollinators in different areas and different times of the year. In Brazil, these seeds are called Castanhas-do-Pará or chestnuts of Pará, in honor of a state in northern Brazil where trees grow abundantly.
Search the Internet and you will find recipes for Brazil nut milk, fruit cakes with Brazil nuts and much more. In several countries in South America, Brazil nuts are called Brazil nuts or Brazil nuts (Spanish). Instead, Brazil nuts are harvested by castanheiros, migrant workers willing to face the Amazon rainforest and the dangers of falling Brazil nut pods to collect Brazil nuts. Brazil walnut wood (not to be confused with Brazil wood) is of excellent quality and has a variety of uses, from flooring to heavy construction.
Not surprisingly, Brazil nuts didn't really take off until the Spanish and Portuguese made better forays into the jungle. .