If you don’t know what a kenari nut is, you will by the end of this post!
I first learned about kenari nuts when an Instagram account called “thenewnut” followed me around 2019. Coincidentally, I got to try out this new nut in early 2020 at a trade show in Vancouver, which was the last big consumer event I went to before the pandemic was announced. So I got in early!
I decided right then and there that the kenari nut was already a favourite. And although I’m all about the nut butter, I’m actually not a huge fan of nuts!
What does a kenari nut taste like?
Kenari nuts are very similar to macadamia nuts, only BIGGER (from what I can remember). They’re high in fat and have a bit of protein, carbs, and other nutrients I’ll get into later.
Batavia, which distributes this nut exclusively in Canada, offers four flavours. I appreciate that they sent me a handwritten note, an information package, and each flavour, without extraneous packaging.
View my YouTube video for my gut reactions:
What’s great about the four flavours is that there’s something for everyone. Unsalted for the plain-nutters, sea salt for the salt fanatics, cacao cinnamon for the chocolate lovers, and spicy salted caramel for those who want to walk on the wild side. The latter two are my favourites. In the video, I said any luxury hotel bar or restaurant could add a small bowl of these (flavoured) nuts to their menu and sell them, and I wasn’t kidding!
The sugars listed for the cacao cinnamon and spicy salted caramel are a type of palm sugar from a tree species called arenga pinnata, native to certain parts of Asia. So you’re really getting every part of the nut tree here!
Each bag is 80g. If that doesn’t seem like a lot to you, remember how BIG and substantial these nuts are!
The nuts on the nutrition
So for those of y’all who are about labels, health, and ethical trade (which I hope you are!), these nuts are:
- Grown wild on kenari trees in fertile, volcanic soil
- Harvested ethically by locals from neighbouring Indonesian islands
- Naturally activated: I didn’t even know what this meant, but the phytic acid that grows on seeds can impair our absorption of iron, zinc and calcium and may promote mineral deficiencies…so activation removes the phytic acid naturally. This is a good thing!
- Free of artificial flavours, colours, or preservatives
- Certified organic in Canada, USA, and European Union
- KETO (unsalted and sea salt)
- A rich source of vitamin E, iron, and manganese.
Below is the nutritional chart that compares 100g of kenari nuts with almonds and macadamia nuts.
What I didn’t talk much about in the video is that the kenari nuts are higher in fat than almonds and saturated fat compared to macadamia nuts, low in carbs and sugars, and quite high in protein and other minerals. As with all nuts, you want to eat these in moderation so you don’t consume too much fat and calories, but otherwise, these can be a pretty healthy snack!
Allergy note: The ingredient label says that the bag may contain cashews.
Getting creative with the kenari nut
I was thinking more about luxury desserts, and since I had all the ingredients to create one, I put together La Glace‘s vegan coconut pandan gelato with a few cacao cinnamon kenari nuts, Salt Spring Sea Salt‘s blackberry ginger sea salt, and edible gold flakes (which don’t taste like anything, by the way). The nut and ice cream flavours were the most prominent (could only really taste the saltiness rather than the flavour of the sea salt) but hot damn, was that ever a divine combo! A high-end restaurant could easily put something this together, charge $10 for it, and call it “Winter Love” or something. Whaddya think?
I also tried the spicy salted caramel nut with the gelato and that was good and brought out the sweetness of that nut, but it wasn’t as good a pair as the cacao cinnamon, in my opinion. Vanilla ice cream would probably be the best flavour to bring out the flavours of the two sweet nuts.
Earnest Ice Cream makes some of the best nut-based ice cream in Vancouver, and I’d love to see what they could do with this nut, even for a limited time.
People treasure their chocolate hazelnut spreads more than their first aid kits, but here’s another luxury item idea: cacao cinnamon flavoured-kenari nut butter! Now I’m onto something…
How to buy kenari nuts
East Forest kenari nuts are available online to North American residents. Shipping is free across Canada right now, so jump on that!
A two-pack of each flavour is $30 CAD, and 4-pack of the 4 flavours is $60, so you’re looking at about $15 per bag.
There’s no store locator online yet, but I imagine they’ll add it when the products become widely available. If you live in Port Coquitlam or Nanaimo, you’re in luck: Pomme Natural Market has them! And you can always contact your local grocery store and tell them you want these stocked.
In the future, I’d love to see the company feature some of the people who harvest the nuts, and list recipes online that could compliment the taste of the nuts.
Have you tried kenari nuts and if so, what do you think of them? Do you have any other questions I haven’t answered here? Let me know!
This post was sponsored by Batavia Ventures.