There are many intriguing stories about walnuts. For example, in Greek mythology, Dionysus, the god of fertility, wine, arts, madness and ecstasy, fell in love with Carya. When she died, the heartbroken Dionysus turned her into a walnut tree, thus her name the ‘goddess of the walnut’. Andrew F. Smith, the editor-inchief of the Oxford Encyclopaedia of Food and Drink in America says that the ancient Mediterranean world used it as medicine. For example, it was mixed with honey and rue to treat inflammations. Today, there are studies that suggest cancer-fighting properties in walnuts. Research at The University of Texas Health Science Centre injected mice with human prostate cancer cells. Only 18 per cent of mice that were eating a walnut-rich diet developed tumours while 44 per cent of mice that were not eating walnuts developed tumours. BUYING TIPS
Choose unshelled walnuts that are plump as shrivelled nuts are past their prime.