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
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove the walnuts from the oven, dump them into the waiting liquid, then add the currants and stir to combine.
- 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.
- 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.