Test Kitchen tips: Choosing and storing nuts
Because of their high oil content, nuts can go bad quickly and easily. There's nothing worse than biting into a nut gone bad -- rancid nuts tend to have a sharp, bitter flavor, and can ruin a recipe.
When buying nuts, shop at a store that has a rapid turnover -- odds are, the nuts are fresher than at a store where they have been sitting around for a while. Fresh nuts should feel heavy for their size and should be plump and firm and uniform in size; they should not be shriveled, wrinkled, or discolored. If purchasing nuts in the shell, look for whole, unbroken shells. Shake the shells -- if the nut is rattling around, it is probably old and dried out.
Store nuts in a cool, dry place for a couple of days. Nuts can be refrigerated for up to several weeks, and should be frozen if you're going to keep them for any longer than that.
If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Noelle Carter
Photo credit: Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times