Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts ~ nuts or seeds?


The "nuts" of the Brazil nut tree are really just delicious, oily seeds.

A nut is, according to the Oxford dictionary, a fruit consisting of a hard and tough shell around an edible kernel. A seed, on the other hand, is defined by the dictionary as the unit of reproduction of a flowering plant, capable of developing into another such plant.

One of the main differences between nuts and seeds is that a nut is a fruit, whereas, a seed is not a fruit - but it can be found inside a fruit. A nut is a fruit that consists of a hard or tough shell around an edible kernel. This is the reason why the edible kernel itself is sometimes referred to as nut.


Technically, a nut is a single-seeded fruit with a hard, dry outer wall that doesn't crack open at maturity. So, because there are up to 25 of them in each "coco" pod, brazil nuts are classed as seeds. As the Brazil nut is a botanical seed, unlike botanical nuts, the density of the fruit makes them sink in fresh water.


The "seeds" of the Brazil nut tree are long and angular, and have a hard, thin outer shell ["seed coat" in picture on left], a white kernel (the edible part of the seed), and a nutty texture. As few as 8 to as many as 25 seeds are enclosed inside the large, round fruits (‘pyxidia’), which are typically around 10 centimeters in diameter, and weigh up to 2.2 kilograms. The outer layer of the fruit is tough and woody, giving it a heavily armored, bark-like appearance.

They are yummy!! A delicious and very nutritious snack. They are a great source of selenium - which is a micro-nutrient not found in many things. Some people love them covered in chocolate, as an extra special treat!