Brazil Nuts are the biggest in size of the commercially sold nuts. While they look like American Chestnuts, Brazil Nuts are only distantly related to them.
Brazil Nuts come from the Amazon River Basin - primarily from Brazil although Bolivia and Peru are gaining market share. Their trees grow to a height of 150 feet. The thick melon-shaped fruit pods of the Brazil nut tree each contain from 16 to 32 nuts. The pods are so heavy that locals generally avoid Brazil nut trees on rainy or windy days to avoid being struck by falling fruit. The pods are gathered when they have fallen from the trees and are chopped open by machete to obtain the nuts. The remote location of Brazil nut trees means the nuts can only be shipped during the rainy season, when stream and river waters are navigable.
Brazil Nuts are the second largest export from the Amazon right after rubber.