Remember how I mentioned that certain things about where my food came from literally had never occurred to me? Well, this is one of those examples.Recently, I was asked to collect the walnuts.
“Sure,” I said. “Where are they?”
“There are two trees out by the tortoises. You’ll see them.”
So out I went on a dreary, gray day to raccogliere le noce. 

In the past I knew, intellectually, that nut woods, like walnut and chestnut, were real. Furniture was made out of them, after all, so vaguely in the back of my mind I acknowledged that these nuts belonged to the trees which bore their names. But when I went to gather them, I really was impressed by my own ignorance.This is what a walnut casing looks like.

See how it’s cracked like the fault lines on the earth after an earthquake? That mean’s it’s good to go!

Have you ever thought about what a walnut looks like, other than the whole brown nut part of it!? Yeah, me neither. The green casing is tough, and once you crack it open, it looks like this:

My fingers are still stained from taking these things apart. But hey, they match my nail polish!

Here is what I’m used to seeing (although certainly never as fresh):

Now crack and enjoy! 🙂