Recently I discovered that a local store stock walnuts. I've never been a big fan of walnuts finding them too bitter and with a slightly rancid oil flavour.
It turns out this was not too far off the mark, walnut oil, like many light vegetable oils does go rancid and sadly many of the walnuts that I have tried previously have been imported from California and of unknown vintage.
The local shop has Tasmanian walnuts and I thought I would try them as a way of increasing my intake of omega-3.
Wow - really really different.
These are bigger and sweeter than the import with a nice level of traditional walnutty bitterness but none of the rancid oil notes. We did a blind taste test between the Tasmanian and Californian walnuts to see if it was a parochial bias, but there was a clear difference for everyone who tried them - the 'fresh is best' rule holds true.
They also go really really well with coffee - not a pairing I would have considered but since the walnuts are on my desk at work I've been eating them when I have my morning plunger.
Every so often you'll get a nut just a bit sweeter than some of the others and hit a hint of maple flavour that makes me think of pecans. Keep an eye out for the Tassie nuts, they are superb.