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Aug 1, 2011 04:06 PM

Why do they insist on feeding me rancid nuts?!

In the last 2 months, 4 people have cooked for me on 5 occasions with different rancid nuts! (No, there isn't something wrong with my tastebuds, I know a rancid nut from a good one.) Everything in the dish is fine and greatly appreciated until the nuts come along and make me want to dash for the trashcan to spit out the last bite. Ok, I still appreciate the meal even after the nuts come along, only because my friends cooked it for me, but it definitely changes the intra-oral atmosphere.

So I'm curious: Why do people not inspect/taste their nuts before cooking and serving their guests? What do YOU do when faced with this nutty issue? Would you avoid them and leave them (the nuts, not your hosts)?

I just force myself to group the nuts into as few bites as possible and chase them down with other things.

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  1. If all your friends live in the same neighborhood, maybe they all shop at the same grocery store that has really low nut turnover???

    I too hate rancid nuts, but if they were offered me in a quantity that I didn't think was going to make me sick, I'd eat 'em. I wouldn't want to insult peeps who went to the trouble of making me a meal. Another thing to consider is that a lot of people don't know that nuts go rancid.

    1. I have had the same problem with people cooking with rancid oil. After all of these years, I've come to the conclusion that either a) I'm particularly sensitive to the flavor of rancid nuts/oils, or b) some people either can't taste it or don't find the taste as objectionable.

      1 Reply
      1. re: missmind

        OH! YES! I've gotten so accustomed to people putting rancid olive oil in dressings that it doesn't shock me anymore when a salad tastes like gasoline.

      2. I think some people just don't know what the shelf life of some foods really are. My MIL will toss unopened yogurt on the "date" because it's "spoiled" but will use cinnamon that she bought when my husband was in grade school.

        3 Replies
        1. re: iluvcookies

          But rancid oil *smells*. Nuts not so much, but just open an off bottle of any kind of oil and I can smell it across the room.

          1. re: missmind

            Not to everybody. I tried to find a walnut oil that was good, and cheaper than La Tourangelle walnut oil, and ended up throwing out a ton of rancid-smelling walnut oil. La Tourangelle won out. In fact when I want an oil that's pricey enough that I don't want to take a risk, I go with La T if they sell it.
            I love the fresh nuts and hate that so many rancid ones have been foisted upon us that some of us think that particular nut is not good-tasting.

          2. re: iluvcookies

            speaking of outdated yogurt: I purposely age yogurt when I have the patience, just because I like sour things and most yogurts (other than faisselle) aren't sour enough.

          3. I think LOTS of people don't know the difference between rancid nuts (or oils) and fresh. I've had people tell me, "oh, that's just how ____ tastes." Um, no; nuts should not taste sour or even stale. As for actually saying something; it depends on how close friends we are.

            5 Replies
            1. re: guilty

              wow. You really think people don't know the difference?
              I think if I didn't know the difference, and somebody told me that rancid oils were normal, I just never would've liked them enough to buy or served them.

              1. re: kerosundae

                Until recently I thought I had never understood what rancid even was. Someone pointed it out to me and I thought, oh, that's what rancid tastes like? I guess I've just been lucky.

              2. re: guilty

                I agree.

                A (close) friend was asking why mine always taste better, told her they were fresh. It was a funny conversation, she didn't realize they would go rancid. Now she's going to a different store with better turnover.

                1. re: odkaty

                  see, that's the thing! I can't understand how she could hate herself so much that even though she thought her nuts tasted bad, she still ate them until you made her realize what was wrong.

                  1. re: kerosundae

                    There's definitely no self hatred, you're reading too much into the situation.

                    She just thought that was how nuts were supposed to taste.

              3. I don't think people understand that they go bad. When i get some new-crop nuts i bag them up and either freeze or refrigerate them, but I sure don't remember anybody doing that when i WAS GROWING UP. bUT THEN AGAIN, WE'RE GETTING NUTS FROM FAR-FLUNG PLACES ANY MORE, AND IT sorry about the caps lock but I don't want to type it again- can really draw out the amount of time that th nuts re at room temp. If something came on a boat from another continent, it can stress the crop, like for instance Brazil nuts in a sea locker going across an ocean to be sorted and distributed here.
                DH didn't think he liked walnuts, until I got some nice looking ones at TJ's and lightly toasted them- he thought they we4e just wonderful. My mother-in-law probably just bought them at the Safeway and was done with it. We've all had those.

                2 Replies
                1. re: EWSflash

                  My parents have always refrigerated nuts, and so do I if I have a bulk of them.

                  1. re: kerosundae

                    Freezing is even better. Just wrap them well. A quick toast before using (unless they are being used in a way that will toast them) and they taste fresh and wonderful.