Until recently, the Brazil nut was a 100% wild grown nut found exclusively in the Amazon rainforest. They grow on trees that reach heights from 100 to 150 feet. Thus, the pods must be collected from the ground after falling. From January to June when the fruit is ripe, it falls from the tree, usually with a loud crashing sound. Inside each fruit pod are 12 to 25 Brazil nuts, each within its own individual shell. The people who pick these nuts deep in the jungle are known as Castaneros. They are regularly challenged by vipers, jaguars, and malaria and also frequently wear helmets to protect themselves from falling Brazil nut pods.
Brazil nuts are sized from Large (90/110 pieces per pound) to Tinies (180-220 pieces per pound).
The Castaneros begin gathering the nuts in January and continue until June. The rate of collecting Brazil nuts is largely dependent upon the pre-paid amount that the shelling factories can offer gatherers prior to entering the jungle.
Brazil nuts are grown exclusively in the Amazon Rainforest. Countries that export this nut include Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia.