Everything about nuts
Unlike other nuts, all Brazil nuts belong to the same species. There are more trees in the same family, the Lecythidaceae, but the tree from which Brazil nuts come from, the Bertholletia excelsa, does not have any subspecies.
Are Brazil Nuts the Same in Different Countries?
The Bertholletia excelsa is only found in some countries where the Amazon forest is located. Whether a Brazil nut is collected in Bolivia, Peru, or Brazil, it will be the same species. That means that the size, shape, and flavor of the nut will be identical.
It’s easier to understand if you look at it as the region of the world where Brazil nuts come from, instead of the countries. This tree was growing in the Amazon forest long before there were countries and borders.
Why Are Some Brazil Nuts Different in Taste and Color?
Even though all Brazil nuts are grown the same, different processing methods may alter the final result. After the Brazil nut harvesting, the nuts are usually sold to cooperatives in the same country where the nuts were collected. Each cooperative in these countries uses similar treatment methods, but a few differences can change the nuts. There are steps such as drying, steaming, and nut selection that some countries may use and others not.
For example, some companies dry the nuts once, some do it twice, and others even a third time. On top of that, some use industrial dryers, some dry the nuts under the sun, or even both methods. Obviously, different temperatures and humidity can result in differences in quality, flavor, and overall quality of the final product.
That’s why some Brazil nuts may be better than others, not because of differences in the species, but because of the superior treatment and processing methods.