Sure, we may receive our nuts in mixed condition, perhaps as a holiday gift or simply as a justly generous gesture. But, personally, I will not eat them in combination. A handful of peanuts, perhaps, because they are common. But, one pecan. One walnut. A single almond . . . and so on. Below, I have substituted pistachios for those Brazil nuts that are usually in the mix. Even now, I must really think before eating a Brazil nut. And I always smell it first. So, I enjoy them singly, separating them by kind and by preference, always saving the best for last.
This may seem counterintuitive but stay with me. If you eat something or enjoy anything at all, begin with that which is least desired. You are hungry and you will like it for a while. Then move to the next better thing. You are less hungry perhaps, but it tastes better. And so on . . . until you arrive at the last, the end, the one thing which gives you the most enjoyment. You may be less hungry, but it is better. Now try to imagine being quite hungry, and having only the best, the last. What wonder awaits you, you can only imagine.
This is nuts, so let us order them and assign each a character based upon observed attributes and my own good taste . . .
- Peanuts: Let’s face it; sometimes we settle for them. They are the commonplace, pedestrian, ubiquitous, easily-found bits of nutrition that we can simply have. In metaphor, they may represent the chatter, the noise, the everywhere/day-to-day and I will admit to grabbing a spoonful of peanut butter and rushing out the door.
- Pecans: I like them, but only fresh. Too often they are from someone’s freezer, or glazed (yuck), or from a plastic bag from a grocery store from a truck from a train from a processing facility from another truck from a basket or bin or bag from an unknown hand or machine from a tree. Fresh, only fresh, do I enjoy them, and I want to crack them myself. Pecans, to me, are the South. And, I am going to Texas which is home to some fine papershell pecans.
- Pistachios: These are decent nuts. Versatile, they can be eaten from the tough shell which always seems to be partially open, or they can be quite good in a baklava. Too many of them, however, seems to be barely a handful. They take on a nauseating quality after a while unless they are in that baklava that I make. Also, they originate in a place I want to visit.
- Walnuts: Here we have almost arrived. Take two complete halves of a walnut and assemble them into a whole. It is like the brain in appearance, and I think about this when I eat them. I do eat these regularly as they are beneficial to males of our species. I do eat the pieces and partial halves and even the crumbs from the container, but when I am able to, I take time to find two halves, assemble a brain, and give it a great deal of thought. Then I chew it slowly, tasting all of the benefits, and just know I am more a man for my efforts.
- Almonds: Oh, the almond . . . There is nothing at all that I do not like about this nut. The shape and size are ideal. The color, perfect. What a distinctive shell! I’d like to gather them sometime, raw, in a natural condition, but these days I just get them whenever I see them. This nut needs no metaphor, really, because I adore it just as it is, but if I had to use a metaphor, something that this nut is, I’d say it’d have to be the “L” word because I do love them. Peanuts? Too common. Pecans? Gotta be careful, as I am picky. Pistachios? Already, I have written about them enough to feel that nausea from overconsumption. Walnuts? I am thinking. Almonds? I just love them. It’s very simple. And there is nothing to fear with almonds (in metaphor, love, when perfected, casts out all fear). I eat them any way I have ever seen them, although I have preferences with the degree of salt, roasted or raw, smoked or not. And flavored almonds, adorned with some spice or something are fine too, for special occasions. Nutritionally, I refuse to analyze this nut. I do not care, really, to assess its value in that way or to try to figure out by reason, if it is indeed the ideal nut. To me it is, and that is all I need to know.
Well, I will stop here, as I might really go nuts if I think about this anymore. I will again plead the fifth with the best of them.