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Black Walnut & English Walnut

Two major varieties of walnuts are grown in the United States—the English walnut and the black walnut. The Northern California black walnut is primarily used as the rootstock for English walnut cultivars.

Black Walnuts

The black walnut is more difficult to crack than the English walnut; its meat is described as bold and earthy, while the English walnut is described as having a sweet and mild taste. That may be why English walnuts are often eaten as snacks, and black walnuts are added to sweet confections such as candy, ice cream and muffins. While the two nuts are closely related, there are some differences in their nutritional makeup.
The black walnut tree, also known as the American walnut, is native to North America. The Northern California black walnut is primarily used as the rootstock for English walnut cultivars.
California orchards produce almost 90 percent of U.S. tree nuts acres in the United States, with some acreage in Oregon. Oregon has experienced a 47 percent acreage loss since 2002. While total acres have increased, the overall number of farms has declined with losses in every state but California.

English Walnut

Walnuts are typically sold as a snack item or for use as an ingredient in candies, cereals and baked goods. More than 70 percent of walnuts are sold as shelled. The California walnut industry is made up of more than 4,000 walnut growers and about 100 walnut processors.
English walnut acreage continues to climb, extending the trend of increased tree nut acreage in the United States, with a 24 percent growth since 2007. California represents virtually all almond, pistachio, and walnut production in the United States.
The United States had 199 farms certified for organic English walnut production. Those farms produced 4,391 tons of nuts. Global walnut production for 2014/15 is estimated to rise 10 percent from the previous year to 1.8 million tons, with China and the United States accounting for 80 percent of total output. U.S. exports have risen slightly to 320,000 tons on stable demand in Europe and increased market share in China. Top destinations were South Korea, followed by Germany, Japan and Canada. The United States also exported $466.4 million of in-shell walnuts. Top buyers were China and Turkey. Export market development activities have expanded distribution and fostered product development which has led to increased use of walnuts in the snacking, baking and processed food sectors.
Added markets may be, but not limited to, farmers’ markets, specialty grocery stores, wholesale purveyors, pre-packaged food processors, vegetarian food processors, ethnic markets, and restaurant food purveyors.