The not-likely nuts: pis­ta­chios, cashews & brazils

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Cover Story -

There are pis­ta­chio trees grow­ing in the South Is­land, but it is hard to source any trees in NZ, and get­ting them to produce is harder still. Pis­ta­chio trees are dioe­cious so you need a male and fe­male (they are wind-pol­li­nated) and they like se­ri­ously cold win­ters and fairly se­ri­ous hot sum­mers.

Cashew trees grow in trop­i­cal cli­mates. As far as I am aware, they are not avail­able at all in NZ. Even if you could get one and grow it, re­mov­ing the dou­ble shell and then the caus­tic liq­uid that sur­rounds it is quite an in­volved process – it’s much eas­ier to grow and eat hazel­nuts in­stead.

Brazil nuts need trop­i­cal heat, spe­cial pol­li­nat­ing in­sects, a lot of space (they grow to 50m) and 15 months to produce the co­conut-sized fruit that con­tain be­tween 10 and 25 nuts. If you want to har­vest one you are go­ing to have to travel to the Ama­zon rain­for­est, but don’t stand un­der a tree un­til the fruit has fallen – they can weigh up to 2.5kg.


Brazil nuts.

Cashew nuts.

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