Despite the title of this post, I will not be saying anything inappropriate about mentally ill people, with the possible exception of the implications of this first sentence, but that depends upon one's level of sensitivity. Rather, I am speaking of the food, the famous seed fruit known commonly as "nuts".
Bob Dylan was in town and we were drinking at The Bull's Horn, which is a faux dive bar in Minneapolis that is so committed to its concept that it is pretty close to actually being a dive bar. We were drinking George Dickel Rye Whiskey, which I would describe as a kind of cheap, but not quite cheap whiskey, with an eye catching name. For those of you drinking along at home, look for a bit of spicy marshmallow flavor, and maybe a faint hint of charred Autumn leaves.
I asked Bob if he watched the Grammys.
He looked at me.
"I didn't either." I said.
He looked at me some more.
"Maybe we should try the Four Roses on the menu." I replied to... nothing. Four Roses is a bourbon, for those of you still playing at home.
"I'm more of a Nobel Prize sort of guy." Bob finally said, drolly.
"You didn't even go!" I exclaimed. Patti Smith accepted his Nobel Prize for him.
"I was still worn out from my Academy Award speech."
"I know. It's like every 15 years there's something!"
We sipped and ordered the Four Roses.
"How's your blog?" Bob asked with uncharacteristic courtesy.
"I haven't hit that 15 year mark yet." I said ruefully.
"I like your blog sometimes, but it will never be popular." Bob said.
"Why not?" I asked. "I mean, I know it won't, but why not?"
"T'stoo... interesting." Bob said. We were starting to get pretty smashed.
"People don't like interesting things?" I asked.
He shook his head.
The waiter came.
"Do you have any nuts?" Bob asked.
"Sorry." The waiter said. "We have some fried gizzards." He offered.
"Are those nutty?" I asked.
Bob made some hand flapping squinting gesture that could either have meant "Don't bother." or "Please bring a plate of those even though they're not nuts."
I said, nodding my head a bit, "What he said." I'm not proud of saying that now- messing with a fellow working man like that, but did that waiter ever read my blog? I don't know how often I need to remind everyone reading my blog about my policy on people who don't read my blog!
"See," Bob said. "That last bit you wrote about people reading your blog is just the kind of convoluted nonsense that is too much for the average reader. You should write about..." He gestured and in doing so knocked over his Four Roses. "Nuts" He grunted.
Here are my favorite nuts in order from most to least favorite:
I'm not saying I might not prefer another nut another time, but in terms of unbridled joy, elegance, consistency, and sheer delight, the cashew edges out, ever so barely, all the other nuts.
2. Pine Nuts.
This might be theoretical as I have not been able to afford a pine nut for several years now.
3. Macadamia Nuts
These could be number one on the list pretty easily, particularly when roasted and salted. They are only held back by their nut to nut inconsistency, which, since we were on the subject, could be a criticism leveled at my writing as well. But if I could be considered as good as Macadamia Nuts I would take it in a second!
4. The Noble Pistachio.
I'd like to note that though this is a ranking, we are already down to fourth place and have experienced absolutely no drop off in quality.
Possibly the most perfect nut.
6. The Pecan.
Why is the Pecan so much better than the Walnut? Some things we are perhaps not meant to know.
7. The Peanut.
Don't say it. It is too.
8. The Chestnut.
From the street sellers in Rome? And oh!, when you get a really good one!
9. The Hazelnut.
They're not bad. If only they tasted more like hazelnuts!
10. The Walnut
A lovely texture, with much excellent utility.
That's my list of nuts. I know there are more nuts than these ten. But the great pleasure of running one's own blog, beholden to nobody, is that one does not have to discuss Brazil Nuts if one doesn't want to.