Walnuts are one of the world’s oldest foods and have been cultivated for at least 2,000 years. These nutritious nuts have been linked to love and fertility throughout history. Although the exact origin of walnut trees is unknown, Persia is their likely birthplace. English walnut trees were first cultivated in California in 1867. Today, California grows most of the walnuts consumed in North America and two-thirds of the walnuts enjoyed around the world.
Walnuts have been used to symbolize love and fertility and can be found in many wedding traditions throughout Europe. In Italy and France during the Middle Ages, walnuts were given as love tokens. While in Rome and Greece it was customary to serve stewed walnuts at weddings to bless brides and grooms with fertility and good health.Though it sounds painful, it was also traditional for newlyweds to throw walnuts at children attending the ceremony. This walnut tossing custom symbolized that the couple had embarked on a new phase of life, leaving their youth and immaturity behind.
While the Native Americans view the Walnut tree as symbols of clarity and focus, and using our intelligence and mental gifts wisely, and the start of new projects.
In China, pairs of walnuts have traditionally been rotated and played with in the palm of the hand, both as a means to stimulate blood circulation and as a status symbol. Pairs of large, old and symmetrically shaped walnuts are valued highly and have recently been used as an investment, with some of them fetching tens of thousands of dollars. Pairs of walnuts are sometimes sold in their green husks for a form of gambling known as du he tao.