Choosing and Buying Nuts


When selecting chestnuts in their shell, choose those that are heavy for their weight, and are glossy and free from blemishes. Make sure that they do not have a musty or earthy aroma from them, as this will indicate they have been exposed to excessive moisture. Similarly, check that the chestnuts are not cracked and that they do not rattle in their shell, as this may mean that they have dried out.


When buying a coconut, shake the husk and listen for the sound of the liquid inside; coconuts dry out after being picked, and those with some liquid left will have a firmer, juicier meat. The coconut should feel fairly heavy and its shell should be dark brown, free of soft spots, patches of discolouring or white areas. You should also check that no mould or moisture has formed around the eyes.

Pecan Nuts

When buying pecans in their shell, look for those that are uncracked and unblemished. You should also check that the nut does not rattle in its shell.


As pistachios mature, their shell splits open exposing the nut. Pistachio nuts that have not split open are not fully matured and should not be eaten.