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Nuts.com is the Second Best Website on the Internet

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There are those things we eat, make, read, and gush over that are just too good to keep to ourselves. Here, we resist the urge to use too many exclamation points and let you in on our latest crushes.

Today: This article is not sponsored by Nuts.com, but it may as well be. 

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There's no reason to believe that "Nuts.com" is a legitimate website. If Cats.com and Running.com and Food.com are any indication, Nuts.com will not be at all helpful. And if it is a real website, it’s certainly not a URL you want to type into your browser in the workplace. 

But against all odds, Nuts.com—a family-owned business founded in 1929 that was called NutsOnline from 1999 to 2012—is a useful website. And beyond that, it's one of my favorite retailers on the internet. 

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This site is magnetic and expansive, a delightful black hole; when you have more than five minutes of free time, go see for yourself. Yes, you'd expect the wide variety of nuts (you can find pili nuts and black walnuts), but Nuts.com stays true to its slogan: "We're more than just nuts."

Start by sorting their enormous selection—which ranges from the namesake nuts to coffee and tea to granola to chocolate-covered pretels to make-your-own-trail-mix—by categories that include organic, raw, sugar-free, and gluten-free, and then get more granular than that: For those times when you need three pounds of gold-colored M&Ms or ten pounds of buttered popcorn Jelly Bellys, you can narrow your candy search by color or flavor


Pictured above: half popped popcorn, mochi rice cakesdate flax energy squares, and Turkish figs

You can find raw almonds in the shell, dried mulberries, chocolate-covered bananas, chocolate-covered corn nuts, and a whole selection of chocolate rocks (you know, for when you're crafting a candy terrarium). Order everything you need to make bubble tea (from straws to tapioca pearls to Thai tea powder), pistachio paste for that pistachio babka recipe, and spirulina to add to your green smoothies. Nuts.com makes it easy to find otherwise hard-to-find flours like teff, kamut, and triticale, as well as international snacks like Japanese peanuts and Indian kachori that your local store might not carry, and more dried mushrooms than you'll ever know what to do with.

Spend some time browsing and you’ll discover new snacks (or, at the very least, end up scratching your head) when you stumble across dried chokeberries, freeze-dried asparagus, astronaut ice cream, and watermelon seeds. Order a sample size (just $2.50 in many cases), then use the bulk discount when you fall in love. It's the perfect website for ordering ingredients for your favorite granola, stocking up on snacks for a camping trip, or even buying candies for wedding favors

Once you place your order, there’s hardly any waiting at all; with the disclaimer that I live on the East Coast, I will say that every time I’ve ordered from Nuts.com I’ve received my shipment in fewer than three days. I recommend you do what I did in college: Pool a group of Nuts.com fanatics and order your loot to one location to cut down on shipping costs. Then, when your package comes, act like it's Christmas. Tear open the box, dive into the colorful bags, and taste one of everything. The silky-textured, brightly colored packaging alone—which was redesigned in 2012 by my biggest company crush, Pentagram—will make you smile, and that's before you've even tasted the sweet and tart dried berry mix or the chewy mochi

A note from my college roommate included the best postscript ever.

I can't remember one item I've ordered from Nuts.com that hasn't impressed me in terms of quality. My staples are dried mangoMedjool datesTurkish figs, and black sesame mochi, but I like to try one new product every time. With so many items to choose from—and the knowledge that whatever I buy will arrive quickly in adorable packaging—it's a shame not to take advantage of everything the site has to offer.

Nuts.com, thank you for all of the snacks and joy have you provided me. This has been my love letter to you. 

What are your favorite websites to order food from? Tell us in the comments below!

First and last photo by James Ransom