“Q: When is a walnut not a walnut? A: When it does not conform to Euro regulation 175/2001”
(Sunday Express, 18 March 2001, page 19)
It is the European Union directive to end all European directives. After instructions on how bent bananas can be and the precise degree of curvature allowed in a cucumber, Brussels bureaucrats have turned their attentions to the walnut… to the EU’s highly paid teams of officials, walnuts are just another opportunity for rolling out some more red tape.
Like bananas and cucumbers, there are indeed grading rules for walnuts. They were called for by representatives from the industry to enable buyers in one country to know what quantity and quality they would get when purchasing a box, unseen, from another country. The regulation simply aims to help inform traders of particular specifications.