Brazil nuts are the seeds of a large tree that grows up to 50 metres (160 feet) tall in the Amazon jungle. The nuts have an unusually tender, rich and mild flavour and their shells are notoriously difficult to crack. Brazil nuts are often used in baking and go well with chocolate, for example in chocolate brownies. The oil made from Brazil nuts has a pleasant nutty flavour and can be used as a high-quality salad oil.
Commercial supplies of Brazil nuts are still derived entirely from wild trees though there are concerns that they're being harvested too intensively.
Brazil nuts can be eaten raw or used in cooking. Whole, they are used in confectionary and are good for decorating fruit cakes or larger cakes because of their nice shape and size. Roughly ground, they make good toppings for desserts and add crunch to rice or vegetable dishes. Ground Brazil nuts can be stirred into cakes and cheesecake bases.
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