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Black Walnuts vs. English Walnuts — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman & Urooj Arif — Published on February 8, 2024
Black Walnuts have a bold, earthy flavor and hard shell, commonly found in the U.S., while English Walnuts, known for their mild taste and easier-to-crack shells, are widely cultivated globally.
Black Walnuts vs. English Walnuts — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Black Walnuts and English Walnuts


Key Differences

Black Walnuts and English Walnuts differ significantly in flavor. Black Walnuts have a strong, rich taste that is earthier and more complex than English Walnuts. English Walnuts, on the other hand, are milder, sweeter, and preferred in most baking and cooking recipes due to their subtle flavor.
The physical characteristics of Black Walnuts and English Walnuts are distinct. Black Walnuts have a harder, thicker shell that is difficult to crack, while English Walnuts have a thinner shell that is easier to open. This difference in shell density makes Black Walnuts more challenging to process than English Walnuts.
Black Walnuts are native to North America and are harvested from wild trees, making them less common in regular markets. In contrast, English Walnuts, also known as Persian Walnuts, are widely cultivated around the world and are readily available in most grocery stores.
In terms of nutritional content, both Black Walnuts and English Walnuts offer health benefits, including omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. However, Black Walnuts have a higher content of certain nutrients, such as protein and polyunsaturated fats, compared to English Walnuts.
The culinary uses of Black Walnuts and English Walnuts also vary. Black Walnuts are often used in traditional dishes and for their bold flavor in baked goods, ice cream, and savory applications. English Walnuts are more versatile due to their mild taste, used in a variety of dishes, from salads to desserts.

Comparison Chart


Bold, earthy
Mild, sweet

Shell Hardness

Hard, difficult to crack
Softer, easier to crack


Native to North America
Native to Persia, widely cultivated


Less common, harvested from wild trees
Widely available, commercially grown

Nutritional Content

Higher in protein and polyunsaturated fats
Lower in protein, but rich in omega-3s

Compare with Definitions

Black Walnuts

Black Walnuts are a nutritional powerhouse, rich in protein and healthy fats.
Adding Black Walnuts to her diet provided a nutritious boost.

English Walnuts

English Walnuts are globally popular nuts, known for their mild taste and versatile use.
English Walnuts were the preferred choice for her baking, thanks to their subtle flavor.

Black Walnuts

Black Walnuts are known for their robust flavor and are native to North America.
The rich taste of Black Walnuts made the homemade cake exceptionally flavorful.

English Walnuts

English Walnuts, cultivated worldwide, are a staple in various cuisines and dietary regimens.
The chef used English Walnuts to add a nutritious crunch to the dish.

Black Walnuts

With a hard exterior shell, Black Walnuts are challenging to crack but rewarding in taste.
He spent the afternoon cracking Black Walnuts for the family recipe.

English Walnuts

The mild, sweet flavor of English Walnuts makes them a favorite in both savory and sweet recipes.
English Walnuts added a delightful texture to the chocolate brownies.

Black Walnuts

Black Walnuts are often foraged from wild trees, offering a natural and organic option.
They went to the forest to collect Black Walnuts, enjoying nature's bounty.

English Walnuts

English Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, contributing to a heart-healthy diet.
Including English Walnuts in her breakfast was part of her healthy lifestyle.

Black Walnuts

The distinct, earthy flavor of Black Walnuts makes them a unique ingredient in culinary dishes.
The Black Walnuts added a complex flavor to the savory stew.

English Walnuts

With a softer shell, English Walnuts are consumer-friendly and easy to incorporate into diets.
Cracking open English Walnuts for the salad was an effortless task.

Common Curiosities

Are black walnuts grown in specific regions?

Black walnuts are primarily found in North America, particularly in the eastern United States.

Are black walnuts commonly used in cooking?

Black walnuts are less commonly used in cooking than English walnuts but can be found in certain recipes, particularly in desserts.

How do black walnuts differ from English walnuts in taste?

Black walnuts have a more robust and pungent flavor compared to the milder taste of English walnuts.

Can you eat black walnuts raw?

Yes, you can eat black walnuts raw, but they are often preferred roasted or used in baking due to their strong taste.

Which type of walnut is more commonly available in grocery stores?

English walnuts are more readily available in most grocery stores due to their milder taste and wider culinary applications.

Where are English walnuts grown globally?

English walnuts are grown in various regions worldwide, with major producers including the United States, China, and Iran.

Are black walnuts and English walnuts interchangeable in recipes?

They can be used interchangeably in some recipes, but their different flavors can significantly impact the taste of the dish.

What are black walnuts?

Black walnuts are a type of nut obtained from the Juglans nigra tree, known for their strong, earthy flavor.

How do English walnuts differ from black walnuts in flavor?

English walnuts have a milder and sweeter taste compared to the more intense flavor of black walnuts.

What are English walnuts?

English walnuts are a type of nut obtained from the Juglans regia tree, known for their mild and slightly sweet flavor.

Are English walnuts used in a wide variety of recipes?

Yes, English walnuts are versatile and are used in a wide range of dishes, including salads, baking, and as toppings for various foods.

Can you use the shells of black walnuts or English walnuts for any purposes?

Walnut shells can be used in various ways, including as a natural abrasive in cleaning products and as a material for crafts and woodworking. However, be cautious with black walnut shells, as they can stain hands and clothing due to their natural pigments.

Can you eat English walnuts raw?

Yes, English walnuts are commonly eaten raw and are a popular snack.

Are there any specific health benefits associated with consuming black walnuts or English walnuts?

Both types of walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and offer heart-healthy benefits, including improved cholesterol levels.

Do black walnuts and English walnuts have similar nutritional profiles?

Both types of walnuts are nutritious and offer health benefits, but the nutritional content may vary slightly.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.

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