Originally Posted by itsstillmatt
California produces half a million tons of walnuts a year and you are lucky to see a fresh walnut once in your life.
it's much worse this year. walnuts are harvested from the ground (they actually put a big machine on the tree to shake them loose ... very cool to watch), but because of repeated problems with contamination, walnuts now have to be pasteurized before they're sold. Very difficult to do in the shell without special equipment, so good walnuts have been scarce. Shame, because that was one of my favorite desserts -- put out a big bowl of walnuts with some mandarins ... crush the walnuts and peel the mandarins. great finish to a dinner.