NPR logo Shaking The Nuts Will Only Make It Worse

Shaking The Nuts Will Only Make It Worse

Digging past the almonds and cashews and almonds to get at the peanuts takes some work. It's about physics. Phlora/Flickr hide caption

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Phlora/Flickr

Digging past the almonds and cashews and almonds to get at the peanuts takes some work. It's about physics.

Phlora/Flickr

I'm a bit of a particular eater, in a way.  For instance, I eat the things I like least first, instead of going for my favorite bits right off the bat.  That's why I'm constantly frustrated by mixed nuts.  To me, the peanuts are the least interesting part, so I want to eat them first.  But they're always at the bottom of the can, with a layer of delicious pecans, cashews and almonds concealing them.  And when I try to shake the can to at least achieve an even distribution, it just gets worse!

Thanks to Andrea James at BoingBoing, I now know why. She posted this video from the University of Nottingham explaining "the Brazil nut effect."

YouTube

So I guess if I added water I could at least sort the peanuts out ... If only that wouldn't kill their delicious saltiness!