I love nuts, but I’m not a big fan of peanuts. So whenever I buy a can of mixed nuts, I eventually find myself with about half a can of peanuts left over. The obvious solution is to buy “deluxe” or “fancy” mixed nuts, which have no peanuts. Sadly, the producers don’t replace the peanuts with a proportional increase in all the other nuts, but instead fill the void with the most overrated nut ever, the cashew. (There seem to be lots of people out there who think cashews are great. These people are mistaken.)
I would be much happier if they replaced the peanuts with any other nut in the mix – pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, or best of all, the most underrated of all nuts, the brazil nut. As far as I can tell (based on the prices of one-pound bags of raw nuts on this website), any of these except hazelnuts would be as cheap or cheaper than cashews. Are my preferences really that unusual? Surely some enterprising nut company could profit by producing nut mixes with a better and, apparently, cheaper distribution of nuts.
But what I’d really like to have is just brazil nuts. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to find shelled, roasted, salted brazil nuts in stores or even online. Sold alone, brazil nuts are almost always raw. This deplorable situation has, however, produced an unexpected benefit: it has induced me to try my hand at roasting my own nuts. [Insert Beavis-like laughter here.] I followed the directions here, using brazil nuts and olive oil, and I’ve been very pleased with the results. I’ve done it a couple of times now, and while I haven’t yet gotten the timing just right (the first batch was a little overdone, the second just a tad under), the roasted brazils are still mighty tasty, and the effort involved is probably less than that of sifting through a pile of lousy cashews in search of the few nuts worth eating.