China has long had a reputation for making counterfeit goods, but the practice in recent years the practice has been getting really extreme. After news reports of fake eggs and fake beek made of pork, it seems concrete-filled walnuts are the latest invention of ingenious Chinese food counterfeiters.
There’s a set of photos making the rounds on the Internet these days, but even though they recently went viral, they were actually released a year ago. They show a bunch of normal-looking walnuts that when cracked open reveal a very hard filling – concrete pebbles. According to Ministry of Tofu, these fake walnuts were bought by a certain Mr. Li, last February, from a street vendor in Zhengzou, Henan province. When he got home and started cracking them, he noticed that instead of a meaty seed, many were actually filled with concrete pebbles wrapped in tissue. But Li’s case is not an isolated one. Apparently, many Chinese walnut vendors try to maximize their profits by carefully cracking open the hard shell, taking out the nutmeat, replacing it with concrete and tissue so it doesn’t make a strange noise, and gluing it shut. This way they can sell the nuts and the seeds separately.
RocketNews24 reports that the sale of fake walnuts is becoming so prevalent in China that conned buyers have even posted videos like “How to spot a fake walnut and the return of making fake walnuts.” It seems a fake walnut is usually dry and doesn’t make a sound when cracked. Unless you’re buying fresh walnuts, they’re usually all kind of dry, and unless you’re lucky enough to actually pick a fake one when testing them, you’re probably going to pay for a lot less walnuts then you think.
Photos: Xinhua News Agency