MY NAME IS LAURA FORST, AND I MAKE PEOPLE NUTS.
Cinnamon Spiced Pecans, Rose Water Candied Cashews, and Cardamom Orange Blossom Pistachios, oh my.
In 2001, I started making Cinnamon Spiced Pecans from a recipe that my Mom gave me. During the holidays, I made them to give as gifts and to bring to parties. While in college at UCLA doing my BFA, I would bring them to tests and critiques and end of semester parties at school and believe they are a big part of the reason I graduated Summa Cum Laude. The pecans are referred to as “crack” they are so addictive. They are amazing as is, but also taste great on salads, ice cream, caramelized bananas, apple pie, pumpkin pie and I have even been told they taste great on macaroni and cheese.
In 2007, I developed a recipe for Rose Water Cashews. They have a wonderful taste and aroma and friends cannot put them down, except for one friend who is French and does not believe flowers should be in food. But he does not like my lavender shortbread either for that same reason, and I have gotten marriage proposals from the lavender shortbread.
In 2010, while trying to figure out a new nut, people kept requesting pistachios. While it was my belief that there was not anything that could be done to a pistachio to make it better, I had been making a Middle Eastern Shortbread with pistachios, Ghraybeh and thought I try to incorporate those flavors. Since the Cinnamon Spiced Pecans were like the best coffee cake without the cake, why not try to make the Middle Eastern Shortbread without the Shortbread? Thus, Cardamom Orange Blossom Pistachios.
ABOUT LAURA FORST
Laura Forst is an artisan with more than 20 years experience in retail, fine jewelry, entertainment, manufacturing and gourmet foods.
While working as a personal assistant in the entertainment industry, Laura worked weekends at boutique gift stores and organized food and special events in New York City and Miami Beach for fun. Following an 11-year tenure in those worlds, Laura moved to Los Angeles where she went over to the manufacturing side for a custom printed and hand-dyed interior textile house and eventually returned to school to further her education.
After moving to San Francisco, Laura balanced her love of the arts, sales and food: as a studio manager for Fine Art Photographer Jim Goldberg and also as a top sales-person at a fine jewelry gallery while launching Laura’s Nuts.
Recently, Laura has been representing lines of sustainable fine jewelry, artisanal home, gift and accessories lines and growing her own small food business, Laura’s Nuts.
Laura earned her BFA at UCLA and an MFA from the California College of the Arts. She is also involved in the Slow Food Movement as a sponsor and volunteer.