Grandpa’s Goody Getter


The Toughest Nut Cracker

We live on a 7-acre property in Connecticut with a bunch of black walnut and shagbark hickory trees. For years, the nuts have confounded us as they are near impossible to crack. We’ve resorted to hammers, but it’s a messy and explosive business and rarely leaves the nut meat intact.

Recently, my wife bought Grandpa’s Goody Getter, which is a neatly designed press, made of nicely painted steel with user-replaceable springs and parts. It cracks even the hardest hulls of the notoriously challenging black walnut.It’s expensive, but we’ve broken more cheaply made nutcrackers and it’s made in the US.

Beware, though, as picking nuts becomes deeply addictive. My kids (6 and 3) have been having a blast picking and eating the hickory nut meats (which are milder than the black walnuts but to my palate tastier than pecans). The tool also nails a very particular mechanical aesthetic, which doesn’t hurt either! It comes with a pair of excellent shears for clipping the newly cracked nut hull to extract even bigger pieces, and I only regret not getting a few extra pairs.

-- Oliver Hulland 11/22/23

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