Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Self-shelling nuts

[insert testicle pun here]
  (+12, -1)(+12, -1)
(+12, -1)
  [vote for,

The chief of MaxCo industries has not been having a festive time this year, as he has been frustrated by problems with his nuts.

Hazelnuts are all well and good, and can generally be opened in such a way as the leave the nut satisfyingly intact. Almonds are a little trickier, but generally doable. Opening walnuts without mangling the meat is a tremendous challenge, which is why the Americans invented pecans as a sort of "training walnut". Brazil nuts are a gamble - some just leap out of their shells in one piece, whereas others cling to every shell-shard and can only be retrieved in dismembered fragments.

Many nut-cracking weapons have been devised to ease the process, but none is entirely satisfactory. Regardless of the nut and nutcracker in question, the shelling process is tedious, interrupts the flow of food, and gets in the way of instant gratification. Obviously, one could buy packets of shelled nuts, but somehow this seems wrong.

Fortunately, those ingenious chappies at MaxCo have addressed the concerns of their Glorious Leader. Nut-shelling problems begone! Away with nut-extraction-related frustration! Nut-meat fragmentation woes away!

The MaxCo Nutter Mark II (which is totally unlike the Nutter Mark I, for which the lawsuits are almost resolved and, in any case, were entirely malicious) comes in a sleek, elegant packing crate. Simply connect the three-stage compressor to any convenient source of petrol, attach the NutMatic chamber, check all safety valves and connections, and you're ready for a nut-based pleasurefest.

First, place your nuts (up to 3kg total; contents may settle) in the NutMatic chamber, and screw down the lid. Close the clamping ring, lock the T-Bar, engage interlocks, screw down pressure-rings A and B, ensure pin C is fully engaged, and close the safety cover.

Switch on the compressor, and ensure that the pressure on the NutMatic guage rises steadily to about 150 atmospheres, at which point it should stabilise.

Set the NutMatic timer to 4 hours (for almonds or brazil nuts), or 12 hours (for hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans), and wait for equilibration to take place.

At the end of the allotted time, raise the safety-cover from the large red button marked "Sudden Pressure Release". Place ear protectors over ears. Press button.

In under second, the pressure in the NutMatic chamber will be released, leaving each intact nut full of 150 atmospheres of air pressure in its meat/shell space. In a further 1-2 milliseconds, each nut will burst with a satisfyingly loud crack, simultaneously shedding several sharp shell shards successively.

Leave the NutMatic chamber closed for a further 4-12 hours, to ensure that any unopened nuts have depressurized fully.

Suitable for walnuts, pecans, almonds, Brazil nuts and Macadamia nuts. Not suitable for children.

MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 28 2008

Not quite self-shelling http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050825/
but at one point, these nuts do shell their own forward trench line, IIRC. [pertinax, Dec 29 2008]


       I'm not convinced you won't be making peanut butter on the half shell, but bun just in case.
phoenix, Dec 28 2008

       I'm assuming that the nut meat itself contains no air-spaces. There may be an issue with atmospheric nitrogen dissolving in the nut meat (in which case your nuts would get the bends on decompression), but MaxCo has a team of people who are paid explicitly to ignore such issues.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 28 2008

       //NutMatic// Does this therefore produce a substance that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike nuts?   

       BTW there would appear to be 2 promised buns above and only one + vote. Have a de-pressurised croissant from me to make up for it.
MadnessInMyMethod, Dec 28 2008

       I want to see what happens to a coconut.   

       That experiment has been done, 2fries, as you would have known if you'd watched the news.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 29 2008

       //[insert testicle pun here]//   

       Could I insert a 'friendly fire' gag there, instead?
pertinax, Dec 29 2008

       And there I was thinking large retailers leveraging prime "real-estate" in their stores was crazy.
4whom, Dec 29 2008

       Rapid decompression of small items, at last the n-prize falls into place..
4whom, Dec 29 2008

       Yes, but tracking them for 9 orbits would be the problem....
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 29 2008

       Only nine? Put them thar sqwirrals back in th' cage Billy-bawb, we gonna youse tha' rakooons.
4whom, Dec 29 2008

       How could anybody bone this? It's one of the best ideas I've seen on HB and it might be my summer project.
DIYMatt, Mar 06 2012

       He has the magic sword and the secret birthmark; ladies and gentlemen, at long last we have found him, the King of the Nuts. Long live the King!
Alterother, Mar 06 2012

       You should try cracking a hickory nut some time. It belongs to the same family as pecans and walnuts and is quite tasty, but its shell is harder, and its innards are more convoluted. I have serious doubts that even this procedure can extract a whole hickory nut.
Vernon, Mar 06 2012

       //He has the magic sword and the secret birthmark// Sadly, the latter is on the former.   

       //You should try cracking a hickory nut some time.// The hickory "nut" is not actually a true nut in the botanical sense (nor are peanuts, for instance). The hickory "nut" is, in fact, technically a mammal.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 06 2012

       How can that be? It's coconuts that have milk.
mouseposture, Mar 06 2012

       Only in the countries where they don't have water.
baconbrain, Mar 07 2012

       Well, that's why they need kings. We should count ourselves lucky to have our own.
Alterother, Mar 07 2012

       For those of us who aren't into this newfangled fancy technology, would a popcorn hammer work just as well?   

       Also... I suspect that the amount of cooking time necessary could be vastly reduced with the addition of an appropriate solvent (CO2 or H2O come to mind) to force into the nuts, and a heat source to ensure that the solvent is at an appropriate temperature for maximum diffusion through the wall of the nut.   

       Last but not least... why do you power your three stage compressor with petrol, when electricity, natural gas, propane, etc. could just as easily run it? For that matter, suppose I've rigged up a hydroelectric dam, or a wind turbine, with a power take-off...   

       [+] Bun anyway.
goldbb, Mar 07 2012


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