Snack, Side, Winter


Yes, the trail of British colonization/oppression left us with a unique flavor map that is hard to describe without looking through the lens of conquest. I started with the wintry walnut, and thought it might be nice to pair them with currants (I always like a bit of a chew to balance the crunch of the nut when I serve these). I steered the bowl around to early English colonies, picking up some palm sugar to sweeten the nuts and some ground cloves and ginger to spice them. I thought they needed some perfume, and so zested the rind of a few oranges for good measure. They were still missing something, so I took one more trip back around the globe and picked up a heady crush of ground black pepper. With that, I was done. A food map based on British Imperialism, potentially insensitive, definitely delicious.



  • 1 pound Shelled Walnuts
  • Zest of one Orange
  • 1 tablespoon Ground black Pepper
  • ½ tablespoon Salt
  • ¾ teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • ⅓ cup Palm Sugar or Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg White
  • ¾ cup Dried Currants


  1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees. While it’s heating, slide the walnuts into the oven on a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. Allow them to toast while you prepare the coating.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the orange zest, spices, sugar, and egg white until just bubbly and frothy. It needn’t be whipped, nor beaten too hard.
  3. Remove the walnuts from the oven, dump them into the waiting liquid, then add the currants and stir to combine.
  4. Reduce the oven heat to 225. Spread the coated nuts back onto your baking sheet/roasting pan and slide them into the oven. Bake them for at least an hour, stirring every 15 minutes, until they’re toasted and the coating is mostly dry.
  5. Remove the tray from the oven. The nuts will be a bit sticky as long as they’re warm, but as they cool the coating will harden and dry.