A thought has engrossed me since fresh walnuts have appeared on the market stalls in early September. I cannot help but wonder which plant, fruit or vegetable could be more bountiful than a walnut tree. From a culinary perspective, walnuts promise flavour, texture and practicality, qualities that have made this prized seed find a place in almost every part of Turkish cuisine. And that is not all. Walnut wood is used in the making of the finest furniture, design products and musical instruments. Walnuts are also a key ingredient for a healthy diet despite their high oil content. Walnuts support weight control, promote a healthy heart, gut and brain, lower cholesterol and help the body fight diseases such as diabetes and cancer. What more could you want?

Kept in suitable conditions, walnuts have a long shelf life and can be found in the pantries and kitchens of almost every household in the country. No one could conceive homemade baklava without walnuts. Not much can top the heavenly combination of fresh figs and fresh walnuts. The nut can be found in the most delicious appetizers. However, in my opinion, nothing can beat the walnut muffin from the Amasya region. I remember being spellbound by the mouth-watering smell of walnut muffins fresh out of the oven in my mother’s kitchen. I can assure you that the tray would be bear while they were still piping hot.

As a blessing of nature, we must appreciate the walnut and the walnut tree, and all life on our planet; and remember that our existence depends on them.

Enjoy in good health…