There's a great scene in the film Best In Show when the character Harlan Pepper lists the names of different nuts. "Peanut. Hazelnut. Cashew nut. Macadamia nut," he says. "Pine nut, which is a nut, but it's also the name of a town. Pistachio nut. Red pistachio nut. Natural, all natural white pistachio nut." It's a funny moment, but the nut premise is actually all wrong. For example, the peanut, which accounts for more than 60% of all "nut" consumption in the United States, is actually a legume. And a cashew? That's technically a drupe. So what is a nut, anyway?
Which Foods Are Actually Nuts?
You'd think the word "nut" would mean...nut. But that's not always the case.
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Key Facts In This Video
According to botany, the basic definition of a true nut is a shelled pod containing a single, edible kernel. 00:24
The cashew "nut" is actually a seed that grow atop the cashew apple. 01:00
The peanut is not a nut—it is technically a legume. 01:34
Peanut Allergies Are Getting A Little Nuts
They've doubled in prevalence in the last 10 years in western countries.