It’s wonderful to have Kent grown nuts available, along with their delicious oils, because while I’m just as keen on cashew as the next person, we need to support our local farms and producers, and I’d much rather have an English Walnut over its Chinese counterpart (where most Christmas walnuts are grown).

Cobnuts are essentially large, oval hazelnuts that are traditionally grown in Kent.  They are available fresh, green, and golden in the husk, or dehusked, dried, and ready to crack. The husked green nuts were picked a week or so ago, and have a short season that ends in October. They are moist and nutty, with a distinct flavour. Fresh nuts are better in salads and roasted in cakes and sweets. As they age, they become drier and sweeter in flavour.  Here are a couple of recipe suggestions, but they are so good to just snack on, or add to any dish.

Cobnuts are excellent sources of fibre and protein and are high in vitamin B1, B6  and E.

The Cobnut Oil was awarded the Supreme Champion at the Great Taste Awards, competing against 6000 other products, and is a superb oil for salads, finishing dishes, or even frying where you want to impart that fantastic nutty flavour.

Walnuts are usually imported from China and the USA, but with our warming climate, are grown successfully in the UK, so it’s worth hunting them out.  They are extremely good for you, benefiting your mind, heart and mood.  Like all nuts, walnuts contain good fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and are a source of the essential fatty acid omega-3. They also contain biotin, manganese, molybdenum, vitamin E and B6.

Walnut oil is usually used in dressings as it tends to lose it’s potency and flavour when used for frying. It’s perfect for a seasonal autumn salad, or drizzled over fish or chicken.

Of course you can go on the hunt for wild hazelnuts or grow your own walnuts and cobnuts, but make sure you beat the squirrels to the harvest.

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