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Why do they insist on feeding me rancid nuts?!

kerosundae Aug 1, 2011 04:06 PM

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. inaplasticcup RE: kerosundae Aug 1, 2011 04:10 PM

    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. m
      missmind RE: kerosundae Aug 1, 2011 04:27 PM

      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
        kerosundae RE: missmind Aug 1, 2011 04:34 PM

        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. iluvcookies RE: kerosundae Aug 1, 2011 04:53 PM

        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
          missmind RE: iluvcookies Aug 1, 2011 05:03 PM

          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
            EWSflash RE: missmind Aug 1, 2011 06:51 PM

            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
            kerosundae RE: iluvcookies Aug 2, 2011 02:36 AM

            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. g
            guilty RE: kerosundae Aug 1, 2011 06:34 PM

            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
              kerosundae RE: guilty Aug 2, 2011 02:39 AM

              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
                GraydonCarter RE: kerosundae Aug 2, 2011 12:35 PM

                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
                odkaty RE: guilty Aug 2, 2011 06:08 AM

                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
                  kerosundae RE: odkaty Aug 2, 2011 12:13 PM

                  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
                    odkaty RE: kerosundae Aug 2, 2011 12:24 PM

                    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. EWSflash RE: kerosundae Aug 1, 2011 06:43 PM

                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
                  kerosundae RE: EWSflash Aug 2, 2011 02:41 AM

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

                  1. re: kerosundae
                    AmyH RE: kerosundae Aug 5, 2011 04:35 AM

                    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.

                2. earthygoat RE: kerosundae Aug 2, 2011 09:45 AM

                  I grew up with rancid nuts. According to my parents, that was the way they were supposed to taste (ugh). Imagine my wonderful surprise when I discovered what fresh nuts are really like! So, yes, I do believe there are people out there who don't know any different. Very sad.

                  1. chef chicklet RE: kerosundae Aug 2, 2011 01:26 PM

                    rancid oil, rancid butter, rancid nuts, I can taste and smell so well. It's easy enough to taste before serving, as in just this weekend i was going to use oil from a 1/2 filled bottle, dipped a knife in, tasted and right away got it. Threw it out since I would hate to waste that beautifully seasoned Japanese fried chicken I was about to make.

                    I know it might seem delicate, but if someone noticed that I'd missed it, I'd want to know!

                    1. KaimukiMan RE: kerosundae Aug 2, 2011 02:19 PM

                      As has been stated, most people don't know that oils and fats go rancid. It's the real reason for white rice and white flour. If you get rid of the germ, the part with the oil, then you can keep the grain a whole lot longer, in some cases almost indefinitely. People may realize that fresh tastes better, but unless they are eating a large quantity they don't recognize that the difference is rancidity. For better or worse I'm not particularly sensitive to rancid flavor. As I have educated my mouth I have become more sensitive to it, but if the rancid ingredient is a side note (like a small amount of oil in a complex salad dressing, or a few chopped nuts on a chocolate cake) I simply choose not to notice. I know other people who can smell the nuts from half way across the room, and would have to scrape them off the cake before eating it. On the other hand, if someone has a bowl of nuts around as a snack, I will notice the taste immediately. I didn't know what that flavor was before, I just wouldn't have any more, not really knowing what the off flavor was. About 4 years ago, during a cool weather period I had some butter left out on the counter for a few days. Usually that is not a possibility in Honolulu, you soon have a puddle of butter, even in the winter. I had the heel of a good loaf of bread left over, so i put some of the butter on it... and immediately wished I hadn't. Just the smell of the butter when it was sliced told me something was off, and taking a bite clarified things immediately. Since then I have been far more aware of the peculiar smell and flavor of rancid oils and fats.

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