General Information

Walnut trees are originally from Europe and Asia, and were introduced into California in the 1700s by the Spanish.  Today, the Central Valley of California is the state’s prime walnut growing region.  Its mild climate and deep fertile soils provide ideal growing conditions for the California walnut with walnuts harvested from late August through late November. Although there are 37 varieties of walnuts grown in California, four varieties account for over 80% of total production: Chandler, Hartley, Payne and Serr.  Walnuts provide fine wood for furniture and veneers, produce edible nuts, and serve as ornamental shade plantings.

There are two main types of walnuts: English walnuts and Black walnuts.  English walnuts account for 99% of the commercial US supply and 40% of the world market.  English walnuts, also known as “Persian” walnuts (Juglans regia), is actually native to southeastern Europe and western Asia; it does not thrive in England. Walnut trees grow to more than 21 meters (70 feet) tall and are relatively hardy. Walnuts require a long, warm growing season to mature properly. English walnuts are produced commercially primarily in California and Oregon.

Black walnuts differ from English walnuts in several ways - their flavor is stronger, richer and smokier and they are much tougher to crack than English walnuts. Black walnuts add a distinctive hearty flavor to baked goods.  Unlike the common English walnut, the black walnut is native to North America, specifically the Mississippi drainage basin. Today, the common eastern black walnut grows in the Southeast and in California.  The black walnut, J. nigra, is a handsome hardwood greatly valued for its fruit and fine-grained wood, the common dark-hued "walnut" of the furniture industry. Black walnut grows from Vermont and Maine west to southern Michigan and south to Texas and Georgia. The tree, the tallest of the walnuts, may reach 45 m (150 ft) in height.

NOTE: When specifying a walnut, use reference grade, color and size (see below).

Color Classification for Shelled Walnuts:

  • Extra Light
  • Light
  • Light Amber
  • Amber

Size Classification for Shelled Walnuts:

  • Halves
  • Pieces and Halves
  • Pieces
  • Small pieces

Grades for Walnuts in the Shell:

  • US No. 1
  • US No. 2
  • US No. 3

Size specifications for Walnuts in the Shell

  • Mammoth Size
  • Jumbo Size
  • Large Size
  • Medium Size
  • Standard Size
  • Baby Size
  • Note: Sizing of in shell walnuts is conducted according to USDA standards.

Shelled English Walnuts Specifications

Shelled English Walnuts Specifications



Shelled English Walnuts

Product Description

Shelled English Walnuts are comprised solely of clean, California grown walnut kernels which meet the USDA standards and are inspected by the Dried Fruit and Tree Nuts Association (DFA).  The nuts are freshly produced from the latest crop and are processed and packaged in accordance with GMP principles under sanitary conditions.


Light: Natural light walnut color.  A tolerance of 15% by weight is provided for kernels darker than light.

Combination:  Natural light and light amber walnut color.  A tolerance of 15% by weight is provided for kernels darker than light amber.


Clean, fresh walnut flavor, free from rancid, bitter, stale or other off flavors.

Shelf Life

1–3 years under proper storage & handling.

Recommended Storage

For maximum shelf life, store between 35-40 degrees F.  Do not store with onions, garlic or other odiferous products.


Physical Characteristics

True Halves

Half count 85% or higher

Halves & Pieces

Mixture of walnut halves & pieces containing 8-12% halves by weight.

Large Pieces

Walnut pieces screened over 24/64” round hole screen and through a 32/64” round hole screen.

Medium Pieces

Walnut pieces screened over 16/64” wire screen mesh and through a 24/64” round hole screen.

Topping Pieces

Walnut pieces screened over 8/64” round hole screen and through a 16/64” wire mesh screen.


Manufactured pieces screened to custom sizes.

Walnut Meal

All material that will pass through a 8/64” round hole screen.  Produced solely from previously certified merchantable shelled walnuts.

Walnut Nutritional Information

1 ½ ounces / whole natural




Protein (g)


Total Fat (g)


Dietary Fiber (g)


Calcium (mg)


Iron (mg)


Magnesium (mg)


Phosphorus (mg)


Potassium (mg)


Vitamin E-alpha- Tocopherol form (mg)


Saturated Fat (g)


Monounsaturated Fat (g)


Polyunsaturated Fat (g)


Cholesterol (mg)


Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference,

Release 15, August 2002.  All nuts are whole Natural.