Souari Nut

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

souari nut product of the tree Caryocar nuciferum, native to northern S. America. The first syllable of souari is pronounced to rhyme with ‘how’.

Like its relation, the brazil nut, it is a large, wild tree whose fruits are gathered in the jungle and which has not proved amenable to cultivation. The fruits, about the size of a child’s head, contain three to five nuts with heavy, warty (sometimes spiny) shells.

The kernels are soft and white, with a mild flavour which has been compared to those of the hazelnut and almond, and a high oil content (c. 60 per cent). They may be eaten raw, roasted, or cooked in salt water. Also, they yield a good cooking oil or, cold pressed, a semi-solid cooking fat like butter, which explains the alternative name ‘butter nut’.