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Jul 9, 2006 02:07 AM

The Price Of Nuts

Call me ignorant, but this is a sore subject with me. I've noticed that when purchasing cashews, pecans, almonds... The price per pound seems to increase in a non-linear fashion in relation to the size of the nut. e.g. A pound of cashews whose size is 12 nuts/oz, is more than 1.33 x price of cashews whose size is 16 nuts/oz. Granted, this is all hypothetical, but in the end is a bag full of really big nuts actually worth that much more than a bag full of nuts of average proportions? And we're talking about whole nuts here, not halves or pieces.

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  1. The higher price just reflects relative scarcity. Whole nuts are more costly than pieces, larger nuts are more rare than smaller nuts so are more costly, etc. You'll also pay more for uniformly sized nuts. If this isn't important to you, buy the least expensive nuts you find.

    5 Replies
    1. re: cheryl_h

      So, in summary, bigger nuts are scarce = bigger nuts are more valuable.

      1. re: PommeDeGuerre

        Well they're more valuable to the person who wants them, yes. I buy lots of nuts in pieces for baking when I want them chopped, so I don't pay the premium for large, whole nuts.

        1. re: cheryl_h

          Bless you Cheryl for being a utilitarian when it comes to baking, and for not being impeded from offering information despite the possible spatial relationship bewixt my tongue and cheek in my previous postings. Levity for all and the "good" macadamias for Cheryl.

        2. re: PommeDeGuerre

          Ah, but for pistachios, value is roughly inverse to the size. Plump California pistachios are relatively cheap. Slender Turkish ones are more expensive, and the even smaller Iranian ones are the most expensive of all.

          Mmmmm. Iranian pistachios.

          1. re: hatless

            Actually, that is a bit of a different argument because now you are introducing varietal differences. I am speaking in the case of all other qualitative differences being held constant, what effect size on value. So, in your case the comparison would have to be limited to size within Iraninan only, not when compared to Californian.