5 Nuts that are not actually ‘Nuts’

brazil nuts for sale

For far too long nuts have been part of our favorite and delighted snacks. It has stayed in our grocery store for a long time for a reason, it’s healthy, tasty and very handy. A nut can be eaten anywhere and mixed nut bags can be ordered or bought almost anywhere in the world. However, what we don’t know about nuts is that some of them are NOT nuts. It might sound crazy realizing the idea that the favorite nuts that we’ve been eating impostors.

For years, we have been snacking on nuts that are not really nuts. So to set the record straight, this article will shed light on the real truth about “nuts”.

Here are the most common nut impostors that have been tricking us all this time:


To be very technical about it, nuts are a type of fruit that develops from a plant’s ovary. As the ovary mature, it forms a wall around the fruit. Common fruits like oranges and apples have an ovary wall that has a fleshy outer skin while nuts, on the other hand, have a hard ovary wall as an outer shell.

Cashews are of a different type, they are a seed of cashew apple that shaped as a c-shaped, greyish object at the bottom of the fruit.

Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts

This may not come up as a surprise but Brazil nuts are not nuts. Similar to chestnuts, they are seeds contained in a pod or capsule that are consumed by splitting it apart. And one thing about nuts is that they don’t split apart. The seeds and fruits are the same. Brazil nuts are called castanhas or chestnuts, they mostly came from Bolivia. In case you enjoy this false looking nut, click here for sumac.


Almonds are a part of the almond tree, they are the seed of the tree. They are famous for their gorgeous blossoms in the Middle East and South Asia. The famous painter Vincent van Gogh even dedicated an entire painting to the beauty of the almond tree.

The next time you purchase a bag of mixed nuts, make sure to check what are real nuts and what is not.

The most common ‘nuts’ found  in a container of a mixed nut are the following:

-Peanuts (legume)

-Almonds (seed)

-Cashews (seed)

-Hazelnuts (actually real nuts)

-Pecans (authentic nuts)

In the end, keep in mind that just because these commercially introduce “nuts” are not real nuts does not mean they tasteless. They are still the same snack that we enjoy!

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