It recently occurred to me that the Spanish nuez can be translated to English as both "walnut" and "pecan." Is the same word really used for both types of nuts? How would you specify which nut you're talking about when the difference is important (say, in a recipe)?
At least in Colombia one usually would say nuez, generically, if the context doesn't require the specific kind of nut; in the case of a recipe (or in any other context in which the difference matters) we, of course, have (and use) different names:
- Pacana (pecan):
- Nuez (walnut):
- Nuez del Brasil (Brazil nut):
- Avellana (hazelnut):
And perhaps more that I cannot remember right now.
PECANS: never heard of it as Nuez China, but it could be a regionalism. A friend that has a bakery orders them in Mexico as Nuez Pecana.
WALNUTS: Nuez de Castilla, but I've always referred to them as just "nuez" I just learned that in Peru is called Nuez de Nogal, makes sense since in Mexico we have a dish called Chiles en Nogada, The Nogada is made with walnuts! Makes Perfect Sense!
NUTMEG: Nuez Moscada, in Mexico is really hard to find in it's natural shape, often found in powder in the spice aisle.
CASHEWS: Nuez de la India
MACADAMIAS: Nuez de Macadamia
PINE NUTS: Piñones
BRAZILIAN NUT: (Brace yourself) I knew them as "Talón de negro" which literally means "Black man's heel". Obviously it is very politically incorrect, so I'm guessing we just take the literal translation "Nuez de Brasil".
This is a Community Wiki answer meant to keep all regional variants in the same post, as discussed in this Meta thread. This answer belongs to all of us — feel free to edit it to add the term used in your country or region!
Esto es una respuesta Community Wiki hecha para tener todas las variantes regionales en la misma publicación, según se debatió en este hilo de Meta. Esta respuesta es de todos — ¡siéntete libre de editarla para añadir el término usado en tu país o región!
The name for each type of nut depends on the country and region. Some are more common than others. Here's a comprehensive list:
- Nuts (generic):
nueces (Lat. Am.), frutos secos (Esp.)
pacana (Col.), pecana (Mex., Perú), nuez china (Mex.), nuez (de) pecán (Esp.)
nuez (Col., Esp.), nuez de Castilla (Mex., Esp.), nuez de nogal (Perú)
- Brazil nut:
nuez de Brasil (Col., Mex., Esp.), castaña (Perú), talón de negro (Mex.)
avellana (seems like everybody liked this name!)
nuez de la India (Mex.), castaña de Cajún or cajú (Arg.), anacardo (Esp.), marañón (?)
cacahuate (Mex.), cacahuete (Esp.), maní (Lat. Am., Esp.)
- Macadamia nut:
nuez de Macadamia
- Pine nut:
@jrdioko One must differentiate between the general case and the particular cases. @Gonzalo Medina has already pointed you several particular cases, but I'd like to address the general case.
The English word "nut" refers to all oily seeds produced by some wood trees and palm trees. It is the same for the Spanish word "nuez". When you refer to a particular case, you qualify the word making it narrower in meaning. In some cases you have a different word to refer to that particular case, e.g., "hazelnut/avellana". But your original premise is incorrect. "Nuez" does not mean "walnut" nor "pecan" nor it is a synonym of both either.