top of page

The Best Middle Eastern (Lebanese) Mixed Nuts, their Brands, and How They Are Made!

Updated: Jun 29, 2020

The western world is well acquainted with the uniqueness of dry fruits and nuts, but did you know that they have been a staple part of Middle Eastern cuisine and lifestyle for centuries? Yes, believe it or not, there’s more to Middle Eastern food than hummus, taboulie, and stuffed grape leaves!

In this article, I highlight three of the top Lebanese mixed nut brands that you can find here in the US, both at local Middle Eastern markets and online. These are some of the most popular brand names you can find that many of us have come to love, particularly if you grew up in the Middle East, or have been introduced to them by family or friends. Of course, nothing beats the freshness and flavors from local vendors in Lebanon (or in many parts of the Middle East), but here in the US, they are still a treat!

Lebanese mixed nuts set themselves apart due to their variety, but what makes these nuts so special, how are these nuts made, and how long can they be stored? This article provides you with the answers for all of these questions that includes a fun video interview of the nut production process as well.

At the end, I share a beautiful memory during one of my visits in Lebanon and being greeted by one of the local owners at a souk (aka bazzar, market).


Nuts Are Nuts! So What Makes Middle Eastern Mixed Nut Brands so Different?

The Middle East is full of diverse food products, and mixed nuts and dry fruits are one of those lesser known treasures of the Middle East that have yet to take off here in the US in major markets. They can however be found online (see below) or at your local Middle Eastern market. The dry fruits and mixed nuts produced from the Middle East are not as simple as what we would typically find here in our local stores. There's a rich variety in the mix. For example, typical Lebanese mixed nut brands can offer a variety of the following:

  1. Almonds (salted, half salted, Spanish salted, roasted, smoked, unsalted)

  2. Peanuts (grilled, salted, red-salted, unsalted)

  3. Cashews (salted, chilly, roasted, unsalted, coated with cheese)

  4. Chickpeas (salted, roasted, sugared)

  5. Sunflower seeds (chilly or coated with salt and vinegar)

  6. Melon seeds

  7. Walnuts

  8. Hazelnuts (grilled)

  9. Macadamias (coated with cheese or salted)

  10. Pistachios (salted, half-salted, unsalted)

  11. Pecans

  12. Roasted Corn Kernels

Compared to popular national brands such as Planters, you'll notice the difference in variety. Most common mixed nut brands you can find at the market contain mainly the following:

  1. Almonds (salted)

  2. Cashews

  3. Hazelnuts

  4. Pistachios

  5. Pecans

With Lebanese style mixed nuts, there's nothing short of variety and textures in every handful!


How Long Can You Store Mixed Nuts?

As most of us have experienced, canned nuts "generally" last a while, and are usually consumed before they go bad, but how long do they actually last when there's no "best before" date?

If you chose to store nuts in your pantry, fridge, or freezer, there is a difference in longevity.

Here are some good rules of thumb to consider for storing nuts:

  • 3 - Months: Nuts Stored at Room Temperature

  • 6 - Months: Nuts Stored in a Refrigerator

  • 1 - Year: Nuts Stored in a Freezer

The other good news is when stored property, the quality of the canned nuts will remain generally unaffected. Sometimes you may notice that salted mixed nuts will stay fresh even beyond their given "expiration date." I personally store mine in a dark, dry pantry - rarely have I had any problems.


How Lebanese Nuts Are Made by Anthony Rahayel

If you have a few minutes, I think you'll enjoy this video on how mixed nuts are processed in Lebanon. I've been following Anthony's episodes for a while and really enjoyed watching this interview and facility tour with one of the mixed nut manufacturers in Lebanon.

What I appreciated the most was observing how clean the manufacturing facility in Lebanon is throughout the process. Being a designer of food processing equipment myself, this video highlights some of the engineering complexities in what it takes to make a final product that ensure repeatable quality.

Anthony's video is in Arabic, but there are subtitles! If you enjoyed this video, you can find more on his YouTube channel or follow his work at NoGarlicNoOnion.


The Best Middle Eastern (Lebanese) Mixed Nut Brands

It's easy to find typical big brand named varieties at your local supermarket, but if you want to spice up your mix for your next gathering, or even just to enjoy them on your own with some arak (liqueur), wine (Lebanese Wine Brands), Turkish or Lebanese Coffee, or whatever your choice of drink is, here's what I recommend that you try at a reasonable cost. The brands below are all imported from Lebanon and can be found online (amazon affiliate links below) or at your local Middle Eastern market.

I have tried all these brands over the years, but my favorite Lebanese mixed nut brand is Castania (the third one mentioned). However, I've enjoyed them all and it's based on your preference.

These can also be a fun gift to bring to a gathering or party, especially if no one has ever tried this style of mixed nuts before.

Here's a warning; you might get hooked on the toasted corn kernels and never look back. As the saying goes, "I bet you can't eat just one!"


Al-Amira Mixed Nuts

Al-amira means “the leader” and thus, this name gives us an idea about its ranking in the world of dry fruit brands. Products by Al Amira are filled with variety, starting from the crunchy melon seeds to roasted sunflower seeds and much more.

  • Good quantity and equal proportions of all the nuts

  • Nuts are dry roasted, baked and coated

  • They offer a low-sodium option for those who are salt conscious

  • These are a cholesterol free snack

  • Attractive packaging and easy to store

  • Al Amira Nuts are Made in Lebanon

Try These Al Amira Mixed Nut Varieties:

Here are some of Al Amira's mixed nut options that you can find on Amazon (affiliate links).


Al Rifai Mixed Nuts

Founded in 1948 by Moussa Rifai, Sr.

Website - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - LinkedIn - YouTube

The streets of Beirut were ready for a revolution as the passionate and hardworking Moussa Rifai Sr. decided to take his home roasted nuts and kernels out in the world. What started as a small road side business in 1948, eventually transitioned to an international successful business. All the products by Al-Rifai reflect their most honest and authentic take on nuts as their products are free from harmful artificial seasoning.

You can buy nuts like almonds, peanuts, cashews, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, melon seeds, walnuts and many more individually and combined together as a packet of mixed nuts as well.

  • Good quantity and equal proportions of all the nuts and kernels

  • Nuts are dry roasted (Lebanese style)

  • These are a cholesterol free snack

  • Attractive packaging and easy to store

  • Al Rifai Nuts are Made in Lebanon

Try These Al Rifai Mixed Nut Varieties:

Here are some of Al Rifai's mixed nut options that you can find on Amazon (affiliate links).


Castania Dry Fruits

Founded in 1985

Website - Facebook - Instagram - YouTube

Founded in 1985, Castania is the product of hard toil and labor of the same man who was the reason of success for Daniel Coffee. The inspiration to serve the community with high quality products led him to focus his expertise in this new field and like every time, his high vision and passion won again.

  • Good quantity and equal proportions of all the nuts and kernels

  • Nuts are dry roasted (lebanese style)

  • These are a cholesterol free snack

  • Attractive packaging and easy to store

  • Castania Nuts are Made in Lebanon

Try These Castania Mixed Nut Varieties:

Here are some of Castania's mixed nut options that you can find on Amazon (affiliate links).


My Trip to the Shouf Cedar Reserve - A Nutty Encounter

During one of my visits to Lebanon, one of the most memorable day trips was when the family packed into a van and headed to the Shoulf Cedar Reserve. it's a majestic, ancient mountainous area full of old (old is an understatement) cedar trees in a land that is mentioned in the Bible itself!

After our trek through the reserve, we had lunch at local restaurant. Naturally, after stuffing myself with with mezze I decided to take a walk along the village road (pictured below). As I was walking I must have stuck out like a sore tourist thumb and was approached by one of the local owners of a small open air market who specialized in selling mixed nuts.

I remember how he greeted me with kindness and enthusiasm, trying to quickly usher me to his shop. While I walked with him to his store. While trying to decipher what he was saying (I only understand and speak basic conversational Arabic), he suddenly dumped what seemed like a pound of mixed nuts into my hands for me to try. Let me tell you, they were delectable! I was sold...


I hope this article has proven to be an informative source for you! If you have any favorites brands, or a story of your own, let me know in the comments section below!

To stay updated on our latest posts and events, sign-up to our email list here.

7,212 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page