There are many different kinds of walnuts in Italy. The large nocedi Sorrento from Campania is most famous for its use in walnut oil. According to Gillian Riley, walnuts are often served as dessert, as they were in Roman times, when they were also enjoyed at wedding ceremonies. Walnuts sometimes appear in religious art for their symbolism, the shell being the hard wood of the Cross, and the soft meat within the redeeming power of the divine love of humankind.
Walnuts are usually consumed when dried and can be used an ingredient in sweet cakes, breads, and biscuits, as well as sauces and stuffing. With its distinctive aroma, rich and velvety texture, the walnut adds an accent to various dishes and desserts. The well-known walnut–flavored Nocino is one of the many ancient liqueurs, and also serves as a homeopathic medicine.
Walnuts, like other nuts, are rich in oil. When walnut oil is extracted, it can serve as an alternative for olive oil in salad dressing. However, walnut oil not consumed nearly as often as olive oil because it is usually more costly. Walnuts also have high nutritional value– they are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, protein, Vitamin E, and other minerals. Walnuts are treated as perishable food due to the high content of unsaturated fatty acid. Shelled walnuts should be stored in air-tight containers and placed in the refrigerator. Traditionally, nuts were seasonal foods, but nowadays, you can find them all year-round.