Nuts have long been considered a symbol of fertility, but the walnut in particular played a major part in Roman wedding traditions: the groom would scatter them amongst wedding guests and spectators. If they made a bright sound when they landed, that was an omen than the couple’s marriage would be as happy as that of Jupiter and Juno. And Juno — after whom the month of June is named — was the goddess of birth, marriage and solicitude. The Germanic tribe appropriated this ritual from the Romans and offered their nuts to Fro, the goddess of love and a blessed harvest, although they combined their valuable walnuts with hazelnuts. It is known that the Romans placed walnut shells in graves and burnt offerings in what is now southwestern Germany, Switzerland and parts of France.
Even though walnuts are no longer quite as rare, they are still every bit as sought after today as they ever were — not to mention delicious.