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Brazil nuts

Large nuts, native to South America, and coming from the 'Bertholettia Exelsa' tree. Most nuts come from wild trees, as cultivation has largely been unsuccessful - although Brazil has a few successful plantations.

Trees grow to a great height (up to 50 metres), and the heavy nut casing - called 'ourico's' can cause injuries when they fall. They are coconut-sized - each one containing between one and two dozen individual nuts (each again in its own hard shell).

Brazil nuts have a 65% oil content, and the oil extracted from them is highly prized. Most nuts, however, are sold fresh or used by the confectionary industry.

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