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Each year May 17th recognizes the holiday squirrels go a little nutty over, National Walnut Day.

Rounded, single-seeded stone fruits of the walnut tree, walnuts are a high-density source of nutrients, particularly proteins and essential fatty acids. Like other tree nuts, walnuts must be processed and stored properly.

Grown for their seeds, the Persian or English Walnut and the Black Walnut are the two most common major species of walnuts.

  • English Walnut
    – originated in Persia
    – commercially produced
  • Black Walnut
    – native to eastern North America
    – high flavor
    – hard shell and poor hulling characteristics prevent its commercial growth for nut production.

The husk of the walnut is peeled away from the shell at harvest. It contains juice that will readily stain anything it comes in contact with. The husk juice has been used as a cloth dye.

The United States exports more walnuts than any other country. Ninety-nine percent of the nation’s commercial English walnuts are produced in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys of California.

Baking and Cooking

Bakers use walnuts for a variety of reasons. Walnuts add crunch and flavor to baked goods such as pies, breads, and cakes. Keep walnuts on hand to add to muffin, pancake and waffle mixes, too. But baked goods aren’t the only recipes in the kitchen where walnuts come in handy. They also get added to soups and other savory dishes. Walnuts complement fresh vegetables and salads, fruits, and more. Finely chopped walnuts create excellent crusts for fish, chicken, and pork. Don’t hesitate to explore recipes when walnuts are in season.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalWalnutDay

Enjoy one of the following walnut recipes:

Black Walnut Cake
English Walnut Pie
Pasta with Creamy Garlic & Walnut Sauce

Use #NationalWalnutDay to post on social media.


In June of 1949, the Walnut Marketing Board created the first National Walnut Day to promote the consumption of walnuts. Then on March 3, 1958, a Senate Resolution introduced by William F. Knowland brought an official declaration from President D. Eisenhower making National Walnut Day on May 17, 1958.

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