I’ve been allergic to peanuts and other nuts ever since I was 5 years old, after I vomited my guts out after having a chocolate bar with peanuts. For 15 years after that, I’ve been forbidden to consume peanuts and nuts due to my food allergy.
Food allergies are such a pain — let alone an actual health hazard. Every time I ‘d inform people that I had a food allergy, they’d become super concerned and cautious around me. It was all rather annoying as opposed to comforting because I always felt I was inconveniencing others or being rude towards the food they were enjoying.
At times, it almost felt that my allergy was more a part of myself than anything else about me. And once you’re told you can’t have something, of course it shows up everywhere. Apparently everyone loves the stuff. This damned nut allergy was driving me nuts.
Come first year of university, I became more susceptible to the possibility of accidentally eating nuts. I eventually did accidentally consume nut products, but when I ate them, nothing seemed to happen. This was nerve-wracking — I’m eating something that I’ve been told can kill me. Yet, it was also interesting. Was I outgrowing my food allergy?
This past Reading Week, I was retested for my food allergy. Turns out, I’m only allergic to peanuts, and I can now have all other nuts. I was so ecstatic to try nuts: my food world has opened up so much. I was excited to finally be able to try what I was forbidden to try for 15 years.
So in curiosity and celebration, I’ve (finally) tried all sorts of nuts and have made some discoveries. I’ve eaten, endured and adored.
Often nuts have a very distinct smell to them. For the Brazil nut, there’s a very subtle but present nut smell, a near wooden smell. Ew.
Very crumbly. Breakable. Feels like I’m eating a coconut: a solid, dense moisture, but still pretty dry in texture. And similar to a coconut, Brazil nuts are harvested the same way.
I salivate a lot to compensate for the lack of any moisture. Chewing the nut overpowers my mouth with this weird, dry yet moist experience. I don’t like this nut.
This is going to sound strange, but this nut has a smell of its own: like a piece of wood found by the sea. Cashews have a much softer, milder crunch. Pleasant texture and taste. LOL — is that a slight squeak against my teeth?
Neutral in taste, but the texture’s what makes this nut yummy; salt would be very good. Yeah, I could eat a little tin of these curvy babies. Next up, cashew milk? Ehh… maybe not.
Dry, dry, dry. The initial crunch was very nice, the sensation I expected from a nut. But then it breaks apart into a meaty like texture. Almonds kind of taste like cherries smell…? And apparently this is a thing: almonds and cherries are from the same species of tree. Huh, that’s interesting.
A satisfying concept behind a nut, but I’m somewhat put off by the dryness of it all. Maybe they’re better in a cake.
Ouuuu, nice crunch. Oh, but weird… as I chew more, it collects like a paste in my mouth? Ah, and half way through chewing, I get this weird *pow* odd flavour.
Honestly, hazelnuts kind of taste like the Eucharist I would take as a kid during communion in Church. A dry, paste-like thing — how do I not get it to stick to the roof of my mouth? I guess Jesus tastes like hazelnuts. Huh, I would’ve taken him as a hummus kinda guy.
OMG, what? It smells like paint or clay. I kid you not. Hmm, there’s no real crunch. The nut just kind of breaks away in my mouth and then just…disappears. Why, or rather, how, is this like a much more solid form of the texture of cotton candy?
Weird aftertaste as well. I can’t exactly describe it — maybe that’s what paint or clay tastes like — and the taste won’t go away since this nut also forms a near paste. Ick, give me my water.
Ohhh, these smell like caramel. Yay, maybe this will be more palatable. Ah, yes, these are for sure the moistest of them all. Nice soft chew, no funny aftertaste. Pecans are very light in flavour and texture.
Now I understand why my dad would eat boxes and boxes of Turtles chocolate at Christmas time, enough to build a turtle box house when I was a baby. Yup, I would polish off a glazed pie of these lovelies any day.
I’m getting a reminiscing smell of the men’s cologne my ex used to wear — so not helping to make me like them. Whoa, what? One bite and it disappears into little, crumbled pieces.
Pine nuts kinda remind me of a pumpkin or sunflower seed — but not really. This is a thing all on its own. There’s an odd taste: like I’m eating from the woods. Am I out of the woods yet? I don’t like these either.
Okay, this honestly smells like KD powdered cheese. I like having to crack open the shell to get to the nut; it makes eating them more of an experience instead of just shovelling them into my mouth.
Whoa, I’m really getting a cheesy flavour too. Nice subtle crunch. Not nearly as dry as some of the other nuts. Yeah, I like these.
#SpoonTip: Try pistachios in this easy dark chocolate bark.
Looks kind of like the brain-like packaged noodles in wonton or dumpling soup. Smells like some sort of musky, woody perfume. Ahh, very crumbly and dry.
There’s no real flavour. Just this dry, lumpy, crumbly texture all over, around and under my mouth. Nope, nope, nope. Give me my water, I don’t like these.
Well, this is like I’ve just opened and won the golden ticket to spreadable-dessert-like-topping heaven. Smells like nothing really, except for a very mild cocoa scent.
Okay, here I go… very, very smooth. Oh — oh my. Sooooo cocoa-y. There’s no real hazelnut flavour. Just chocooooolaaaaateeee. It leaves a nice coating of chocolate flavour in my mouth. Noms. I now understand what it’s like to profoundly love, enough to make a Nutella Day for all of us to come together and celebrate this beautiful, beautiful thing.