Tropical Gardening: Christmas can be nuts depending on where you live

In years gone by, if you lived in North America or Europe, the traditional nuts found at Christmas would have been walnuts or hazelnuts. Pecans would have been the choice in the Southern states. Now we may find nuts from all over the world at the local markets. For example in Haiti, you might find tropical almonds roasted and made into a confection similar to peanut brittle. This is actually Terminalia catappa known in Hawaii as false kamani. In the Philippines, you might find the pili nut or one of its relatives. The pili nut has over 600 species in the family Burseraceae and may be found throughout Southeast Asia. Even the macadamia has close relatives in tropical Asia, so depending on where you live, you may find local nuts as well as exotic introductions included in the regional cuisine.