Happy National Grab Some Nuts Day!

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

It's National Grab Some Nuts Day, and we are nuts about nuts! And for a good reason! They’re a great snack, a healthy source of fat, and pair well with many of our wines. What’s not to love?

We tend to lump peanuts, almonds, pistachios, pecans, walnuts, etc., into the “nut” category, but did you know that they aren’t all true nuts? So how is a “nut” defined? A nut is any fruit with an inedible shell surrounded by an edible kernel. However, a true nut remains closed at maturity. This means that the outer cover doesn’t pop open to release the kernel.

So which nuts are true nuts? Let’s talk about some of our favorite snacks and see if they are nutty or not.


Of course, we have to start with our favorite! Pistachios are a tree species that grows well in desert climates (like here in New Mexico!). Interestingly, they share a family with some other well-known plants such as cashews, mangoes, and even poison ivy! Since the pistachio seed is surrounded by a fleshy fruit that eventually hardens and splits, it is considered a “drupe” and not a true nut. That’s nuts!


We’re nuts for pecans as they are also grown in New Mexico, but are they really a nut? Pecans, like pistachios, have a fleshy outer layer containing the seed. They are also considered drupes.
You may be asking, what in the world is a drupe? Drupes are fruits with an outer fleshy part surrounding a shell (or pit). Some familiar drupes are peaches and cherries—however, there are also nut-like drupes like almonds and pecans.


Peanuts have the word “nut” right in the name, so surely, they are nuts. Nope! Can you believe it? Peanuts are a legume and are related to beans and lentils. Why aren’t they nuts? Well, think of a peanut inside its shell. The shell is actually a pod and typically has two or three inside. Additionally, while true nuts grow on trees, peanuts grow from a bush and mature underground!


Now we know what you’re thinking… if peanuts, pecans, pistachios, and almonds aren’t nuts, then what is? Chestnuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, and acorns fall into that category! These nuts are single seeds covered by a hard, inedible shell that doesn’t easily open when the seed matures. A walnut is, indeed, a true nut!

Although many of our traditional nuts aren’t considered true nuts, they are typically grouped for culinary and even allergy purposes. So don’t let yourself get bogged down by the details. Celebrate today’s holiday by grabbing a handful of your favorite nuts! Here are a few of our favorite nutty treats from our store:

Green Chile Pistachios (Kernels)

Try some pistachios with a New Mexican kick! We use a fresh green chile in processing these nuts, and oh what a difference they make! Green chile pistachios come already shelled—so you can enjoy them even more!

Candy Coated Pecans
Need a sweeter way to celebrate? Creamy yogurt and fresh pecans…what can be better than that? Our fresh pecans are coated in a delicious yogurt coating creating the perfect blend of sweet and crunchy.

Sweet and Salty Tin
Indecisive? Try both! Savory salted and roasted pistachios and crunchy, buttery pistachio brittle. It’s the yin and yang of snacks and perfect if you can’t decide if you want something sweet or salty!

We hope you enjoyed learning about these amazing salty, sweet specialties! Have a nutty day!

Heart of the Desert is a working pistachio ranch and vineyard with four retail establishments in New Mexico. They are best known for their farm fresh pistachios and Award-Winning New Mexico wines. Each store offers wine and pistachio tastings. They offer worldwide shipping and produce attractive gourmet baskets that make great corporate and family gifts. The main store, on the ranch in Alamogordo, offers farm tours that showcases how pistachios are grown and processed as well as a stunning Tuscany themed patio that overlooks the groves and is available for weddings, private parties or enjoying a relaxing glass of wine.