Eggy nuts at Greenstar

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Over the last week, I’ve driven over 1400 miles (and overheated on the Cross-Bronx Expressway on a Sunday night) as part of a super-secret project (the same one mentioned on this week’s Vegan Freak podcast). I had a nice chat and brunch with Erik Marcus and a nice week meeting a lot of other fine folks.

I even had a chance to visit the Greenstar Co-Op twice to stock up on snacks and pick up some amazing sea salt that I’ve been wanting to stock up on for the last four years (I know, I’m a dork). However, I’ve got a beef with Greenstar…

See, I was loading up with some various nuts and snack mixtures. I got a bag of really tasty curry cashews and grabbed a bag of the delicious-sounding orange-spiced walnuts. So as I drove to Erik’s, I tried a couple of the walnuts. Indeed, they were delicious. But something made me pause and check the ingredients. My jaw dropped when I saw on the ingredient list: “egg whites.”

Egg whites? What the hell? Why do you need egg whites in a bag of spiced nuts? Shouldn’t it just be, you know, spices and nuts?

I really am dumbfounded, and a bit pissed, at this. As Erik said, “Nuts are sacrisanct.” Can anyone clue me in? (And before you say “it’s to help keep the spices on the nuts,” then why didn’t the curry cashews have egg whites?)

8 Responses to “Eggy nuts at Greenstar”

  1. pleather

    Oooh Greenstar. We miss it so very much. It is so much bigger and better than the co op we go to now.

    But as for the egg whites, I have no idea. Maybe it’s to keep them from drying out? I know that a lot of commercial mixes use oil on salted nuts, so maybe they were trying to avoid using oil. I dunno, just a guess. It’s incredibly annoying though. The other annoying thing is that sometimes you find gelatin in commercially packaged nuts. Gelatin! Why?

  2. girl least likely to

    i have no idea what the egg whites would be for, unless it’s a “shiny” thing which i believe is the purpse of gelatin on some peanuts. annoying and stupid, regardless.

    but! more importantly! what’s with all the super-secret projects afoot? super-secret projects make me super-curious!

  3. UponFirstListen

    I understand your frustration. I’m the Executive Chef of the 755 Club and I can tell you that it’s amazing what goes into some things without need (beyond chicken stock in the rice, which my club does not do). We don’t use egg white for our spiced nuts, but the previous chef did. It’s a texture thing as well as a flavor thing. Egg whites carry flavor very well and they also add a different texture to the product (probably what caught your palette to make you look at the label). It’s disheartening, but unless you want to prepare all of your own food all of time, you need to read all labels, even innocent looking nuts at a food co-op.

  4. Brad

    I am constantly frustrated by the things I look to buy that have egg whites in the ingediants :(

  5. Amy

    I know the recipe for spiced pecans in Martha Stewart Living calls for egg whites – they do add shine and adhere the spices well, although they’re not necessary.

  6. [email protected]

    Greenstar’s stuff is amazing. Every time I see my brother & sister-in-law they bring us some stuff from there.

    Kim and I ran into the same problem with their nuts. I have no answer for you, but the chef’s anwer sounds about right.

  7. [email protected]

    Dig the “hormail” typo! I should have used the preview feature. ;)

  8. Ryan

    Scott — you were the one that clued me into Greenstar four years ago and I thank you for that!

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