From divine Nut to pecan pie

October 5, 2013 

The fast-fading sunshine of autumn is the magic that tells the sweet nut hanging from the tree that the nutting season is underway.

Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics depicted “Nut” as a goddess, arching overhead, holding the stars and other objects assigned to stay aloft in their places. Her weakness was that, as the hours of daylight shorten, her tears, mingling with the falling leaves, would cause the seeds of trees to start falling.

Times and concepts change. The stars do a pretty good job of staying aloft, and today’s definition of a nut has shifted to the encased seed of a tree.

The disagreement has shifted to which falling nut bears the sweetest kernel. There are those who argue for the almond, and certainly there is much to be said for these flavor-laden gems. Midwesterners swear by the native hickory as possessing the best flavor, claiming nuts from tthe shellbark hickory being the sweetest of all. More power to them. Let them stand their ground while others of the Northeast argue for the butternut, close kin to both the flavorful mock and pignut.

However, it would require a major shift in attitude to cause the typical Southern country boy to cease trying to beat the squirrels in their unending annual race for the famed, arguably most delicious pecan. There is little that could compete with a delicious pecan pie, fresh out of the oven, unless it be sweet rolls laced with crushed pecan, amid a mixture of brown sugar and sweet butter.

The seed from a pine cone is quite popular worldwide, and Pacific Rim natives swear by the milk of a coconut. The tears of the Egyptian god Nut are now falling. The annual race between man and squirrel to be first to the dinner plate is underway. Best place your wager on the squirrels.

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