Brazil Nuts in Brazil

One of my favorite random facts I’ve learned is that the Brazil nut is called castanha-do-pará, or Pará nut. Pará is a state in northern Brazil. In other words, the Portuguese name is more region-specific. The seed grows wild in the Amazon rainforest, and interestingly enough, its biggest producer is Bolivia.

I bought the package below at R$49.50/kilo. Making a quick estimate in my head, I calculated it to be about 25 USD. Vaguely remembering it was about 13 dollars at Whole Foods, I was flabbergasted that it would be about double the amount in Brazil, even with São Paulo being an expensive city. Then I remembered the U.S. sells by the pound while Brazil goes by the kilo. Phew.

Brazil nuts

So, doing the correct calculations, the Brazil nuts I bought come out to about 9.40 USD per pound. In comparison, they’re available on Amazon for purchase at about 11 dollars a pound. Or if you want to reverse it, Amazon charges around R$59 per kilo compared to my local supermarket’s R$49.50. So it’s only slightly cheaper for me in São Paulo compared to the U.S. I’m curious though as to what it costs at an average market in Pará, or elsewhere in northern Brazil.

I’ve seen it used occasionally in cakes, or more often in healthy high-energy foods such as granola. The other day I had a salad at a restaurant called The Garden in Vila Mariana, where it was served crushed on top of baby greens, mango and raspberry dressing. It was as good as it looks.

Because of their high fat content, they go rancid quickly, so it’s best to store them in the refrigerator. I learned this the hard way, as the current summer temperatures make it necessary to put practically everything in the refrigerator. Even my lipstick.


5 thoughts on “Brazil Nuts in Brazil

  1. The reason Brazil Nuts are so expensive here, despite the fact that they’re grown nationally, is that unlike the USA even food is subject to taxes. On average 22% of your monthly food bill goes to the 6 built-in (and presently hidden) taxes. Some foods are taxed less and others are taxed to over 60%, yikes!!!

    William James Woodward, Expat-blog Experts Team

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