Welcome ladies and gentleman to the main event of the week! In the category of Culinary Boxing here at Chef’s Mandala, we have weighing in at less then 1 ounce from China, please welcome almonds! His opponent, weighing in at 1 ounce from the Iran, please welcome walnuts!
LET’S GET READY TO RRRRR…….HAVE A SPIRITED DEBATE ON FOOD!!!
In the Red Corner – WALNUTS
Often made fun of by kids in school for being too “brainy”, walnuts have grown up to become the champion of our Culinary Boxing Super-Lightweight Division! This nut is a bit of a baller. It has more antioxidants then most other nuts! Combine this with a wealth of Omega 3s, decreasing inflammation (common cause of heart disease), lowering your risk of cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure, and supporting brain function, this nut is a bad ass! Unlike the sneaky endosperm that unfairly seduces fertile women, walnuts actually do help with male reproductive health! Some fans are a little intimidated though when doctors recommend consuming walnuts with the skin for maximum health benefits. Have you seen how thick that shell is? Luckily, that isn’t the shell but rather the white, outermost layer prior to the shell.
In the Blue Corner – ALMONDS
Accusations have followed this challenger for years that despite looking like an oval shaped nut, he’s actually a seed! While lab testing has proven this to be true, almonds are still one tough customer. Like walnuts, almonds grow in a hard, fibrous shell. Ironically almonds are a part of the rose plant family (which explains his reputation as quite the ladies man!) Our challenger is light on his feet, being among the lowest calorie nuts in your kitchen cupboard. While the ladies like their almonds raw and in the nude, most are pasteurized while still appearing to be raw (much like your eggs). While his heritage is Persian, much like Reza Farahan in the Shahs of Sunset, today this gem is American. The United States produces more almonds then any other country in the world. It has gotten to the point that some of the delicious almonds you buy at retailers like Whole Foods were exported to Spain, blanched, salted and exported back to the USA for sale to you! Almonds might be a challenger, but that doesn’t mean they’re new to the game. The Jewish menorah (candelabra with 6 branches that is lit up in December) is designed to look like an almond blossom and is several thousand years old!
- The Play-By-Play
Walnut crushes almond in the first few minutes of round 1. Reminiscent of Iron Mike Tyson or Sonny Liston back in the day, walnut crushes almonds into a fine paste before our very eyes. He then throws some water into the mix and voila, soy milks biggest competitor is born!
AND THE WINNER IS….
Walnuts! While almonds are also a great ingredient, walnuts beat him out in every single category imaginable. And yet, almonds continue to be more popular among gourmet consumers, go figure???