Updated: Sep 2
How the tastiest organic walnuts in the world are harvested.
Location: Kashmir, northern India.
Let's visit the beautiful valley of Kashmir on a walnut hunt and see how they are harvested, processed and packed by Aagur so one can buy the tastiest Kashmiri walnuts online.
Anatomy of a Kashmiri walnut. The outer green soft-shell, the inner brown hard-shell and finally, the edible kernel.
A Kashmiri walnut or Koshur Doon (Koshur=Kashmiri / Doon=Walnut) as its called in Kashmiri, grows almost wild like across the valley. You'll find it alongside roads in the villages, across slopes and by the streams of the lower Himalayas, in backyards of houses and of course, in managed groves.
Each walnut starts emerging in the month of May and by harvest time in September, ripens to a large size with a juicy kernel.
Walnut trees in Kashmir grow almost wild-like. Though numerous orchards exist, thousands simply grow at random spots across the landscape such as this one.
Or like this giant old walnut tree in the middle of a seasonal Himalayan rivulet
The baby walnuts start emerging in the Month of May each year
By September, Kashmir's walnuts are large, ripe and ready for harvest.
Once fully mature, the outer soft green cover of some walnuts may open up revealing the hard-shell nut inside
Then step in the heroes - the walnut breakers. Their weapon of choice:
a long cedar (deodar) wood stick
The walnuts or akhrots are knocked off the branches of the trees and one hears little thuds as they fall down.
Beware! Don't stand under the walnut trees while this happens!
Walnuts that have been threshed from the trees during the harvest in Kashmir.
Say hello to little Saqib from village Chandigram in south Kashmir collecting his share of walnuts or Doons
It's a time of celebration in Kashmiri villages when the walnut harvesters come over in September. As most of the walnut trees fall under public land, the villagers rush with little bags to collect small amounts for their personal use while the bulk is taken by the entrepreneur contracted by the village to harvest nuts from the walnut trees and sell them at the main mandi at the city or directly to agro firms such as Aagur Gourmet.
Once harvested from the trees, local villagers are employed in the removal of the soft outer green cover of the walnuts.
The hard shell inner walnuts are then sun dried to convert the fruit into a dry-fruit!
Once dried, it is time to crack open the shells and remove the kernels of the walnuts - a process that is carried out manually in Kashmir where doing so becomes a family event!
Yummy! Look at those freshly deshelled walnut kernels.
The kernels are then dehydrated in cold dark rooms as direct sunlight accelerates oxidation of the kernel skin resulting in a darker colour and change in flavour profile from sweet to bitter.
How to store Kashmiri walnuts?
Once dehydrated to optimum levels giving it a crunch, they must be vacuum-packed to ensure freshness during transportation and once received one must place them in an air-tight container in a cool and dry place during winters and in a refrigerator during summers to maintain taste.
Grade-A, extra-light, sorted and vacuum-packed organic Kashmiri walnut kernels by Aagur
At Aagur, each walnut kernel is meticulously graded ensuring both choice and quality.
Clients may choose from extra-light walnut kernels, light walnut kernels and kernels quarters (a mix of both extra-light and light) that make a great value buy if one is a baker or if one wants to add walnuts to one's morning cereal.
If you live in India, click picture or button below to order your first pack of delicious and healthy walnuts online!