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where to buy plain nuts (walnuts, almonds) at good prices

wilmagrace Feb 10, 2008 07:09 AM

I have been stocking up on nuts for health in baking section of grocery stores but they are overpriced in small packages. I am not a member of Club Price and am not close to Adonis on Sauve. Past bulk store experiences have grossed me out. Any ideas for shopping for plain natural nuts in central location of city?

  1. kpzoo Feb 10, 2008 08:09 AM

    Not sure if you'd consider NDG central, but I buy my nuts in bulk at Akhavan. Very high turnover so everything is super-fresh. I haven't done a cost comparison, but my impression is that the prices are reasonable.

    Supermarche Akhavan
    6170 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, QC H4B, CA

    1. bomobob Feb 10, 2008 08:19 AM

      Well, if you can't make it to Adonis, then you can't make it to Cananut either, which is too bad because they probably have the best selection.
      I would second Akhavan.

      2 Replies
      1. re: bomobob
        kpzoo Feb 10, 2008 08:34 AM

        Tell me more about Cananut - I don't recognize the street name - what neighbourhood is it in? Is it bulk in that you can choose your own quantities?

        1. re: kpzoo
          bomobob Feb 10, 2008 02:23 PM

          Around the corner from Basse(see below), in that no-man's-land between Marche Centrale and Andalos (otherwise known as Mecca!)

      2. h
        HungryLurker Feb 10, 2008 09:55 AM

        Also in the Marche Centrale area (not far from Adonis) is my fave, Bassé, on Charles de la Tour (I think), the street running parallel to the west of L'Acadie.
        Otherwise, another vote for Akhavan those are too far.

        1 Reply
        1. re: HungryLurker
          maisonbistro Feb 10, 2008 10:36 AM

          I third Akhvan. Great selection and like KPzoo said, high turnover. I am very picky about the freshness of nuts, and have had issues with other bulk stores' hazlenuts in particular- but I have never had a problem there.

        2. s
          swissfoodie Feb 11, 2008 01:40 AM

          Sunsource: www.sunsource.ca.

          I find their products are fresher than Akhavan and they are also more particular about the display of their products and thus the freshness. The owners are as the importers and roasters, so the quality control is there. Their prices are the same if not cheaper than at Akhavan and they have two retail and one wholesale location.

          My test is walnuts: they usually go rancid first and I've never had a "dusty" one when I've purchased them at Sunsource.

          4 Replies
          1. re: swissfoodie
            lagatta Feb 11, 2008 04:27 AM

            Are you sure about the prices? They seemed dreadfully expensive to me - I went into the shop on Laurier and didn't buy anything.

            1. re: swissfoodie
              moh Feb 11, 2008 06:43 AM

              I like Sunsource a lot, but I wouldn't call them cheap. But I have found their products very tasty and fresh. And they have these really delicious seasoned macadamia nuts, pepper and (I believe) lime. Somewhat addictive. But definitely not cheap. I've had to really resist eating these as they are bad for the budget and the diet. But if you like macadamia nuts.....

              1. re: moh
                maisonbistro Feb 11, 2008 07:44 AM

                I agree on the pricing. I went to the one on Sherbrooke, past Victoria, and the prices were astronomical. But they do some great things there and the nuts are definitely good, original, but not cheap.

              2. re: swissfoodie
                Joel_L Dec 18, 2008 07:00 PM

                Thanks for the recommendation. I checked out the SunSource on Laurier and I'm quite pleased. The roasted almonds are delicious, and the price doesn't seem unreasonable. They also have dried cantaloupe!

              3. k
                Keramel Feb 11, 2008 10:17 AM

                I saw bags of almonds for sale at a middle-eastern store near Capital in the Jean Talon Market. It is the place with tons of oils, olives and I think is one or two stores east of Capital on the same row. They looked pretty good but I didn't get to try them. I believe the price was $9 or $10 for 1 kg.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Keramel
                  lagatta Feb 11, 2008 10:55 AM

                  Technically, it is a North African (Maghrebi) store, Tunisian. It is a branch of L'Olivier. I'd want to taste their nuts first, as they have had health issues in the past. However if the nuts are sold for a Muslim festival, for example, there should be a good turnover.

                  How about Anatol, nearby on St-Laurent? They seem to have a good turnover - I haven't bought nuts for quite a while so I don't know how fresh they are.

                  1. re: lagatta
                    Keramel Feb 11, 2008 11:56 AM

                    Oh my mistake, sorry about that.

                    Health issues....that sounds scary. I get a lot of olives there.

                    1. re: Keramel
                      lagatta Feb 11, 2008 01:08 PM

                      I don't think there have been any recent problems, and think the earlier ones have been resolved, and I certainly don't want to unjustly malign a business.

                      There used to be some Lebanese shops hereabouts, but I think only the place on Faillon remains. The one opposite the market on the north side of Jean-Talon has since become Algerian.

                      There is quite a bit of overlap in the products on offer anyway, between both "subsets" of the Arab world. (Middle East of course also encompasses Iranian/Persian, and by most categories Turkish, though sometimes the latter insist that they are European for political reasons).

                2. e
                  emerilcantcook Dec 17, 2008 09:04 PM

                  I know I am bumping an old thread, but I just thought it is a good idea to keep all information together.

                  I've been using a lot of nuts in my cooking, and I am also having a hard time finding affordable nuts. A recent trip to Adonis was pretty underwhelming. When I wanted to buy a pound of the bulk walnuts, the counterperson told me to get the ones that were already bagged. When I said, "bulk would be fresher due to turnover", he said "they are the same thing". He wasn't wrong. They were equally un-fresh. Not quite stale, but meh. The irony is I can get the same quality bagged nuts from Segal -the stinky store- for dirt cheap. I don't need to drive all the way to Adonis for that.

                  Worse, in a side by side comparison between "fresh" Adonis pinenuts and two months of old *cough* Provigo pinenuts, Provigo's won (both taste and look-wise). (Sample size: 2) This perhaps tells us how dire the situation is. I am willing to take a trek to Akhavan, but I am worried that the results will be similar.

                  In an ideal world, I would buy from Sunsource. Their products are indeed fresh, but if one needs 300 grams of nuts for a recipe, they might get a second mortgage as well. The ones at JTM are also good, but I am not sure the nut guy is working during the winter? Has anyone seen him? His prices are not cheap either though, but I guess you get what you pay for.

                  Long story short, has anyone other dependable source for affordable nuts for nut heavy recipes? Being STM accessible is a must, unless there are other reasons around to warrant getting a wheel. Merci!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: emerilcantcook
                    maisonbistro Dec 18, 2008 06:04 AM

                    I pretty much always buy my nuts from Akhvan - I am very VERY picky about walnuts - as they can taste off very quickly and I have never had an issue with them. They also have great hazlenuts.

                    1. re: maisonbistro
                      lagatta Dec 18, 2008 06:46 AM

                      This week, I had perfectly good luck for walnuts (pieces, for cooking) with PA supermarket on Parc. Say "this week" as they are on sale, bagged in store. Wouldn't guarantee that any other time.

                      Can't possibly afford Sunsource.

                    2. re: emerilcantcook
                      Campofiorin Dec 18, 2008 06:58 AM

                      Mathieu, the nut guy, moved his counter to Atwater market for the winter. Hopefully, they'll find him some place at JTM at some point. We buy nuts from him every week and we don't drive down to Atwater quite often. I don't really like it there, but that's another story.

                      1. re: Campofiorin
                        cherylmtl Dec 18, 2008 05:31 PM

                        Loblaw's and Provigo sell shelled nuts in small plastic containers - as a rule, the ones I've bought are fairly fresh, but I guess it depends on the location as to how quickly they sell. I have found that the best way to keep most nuts fresh (once they're shelled) is in the freezer. Pine nuts are kept in the fridge. Keeps them from getting rancid or stale (as long as they're fresh to begin with).

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