The chestnut has an emoji, so why not?

By Mike Pomranz
January 25, 2019
Courtesy of Almond Board of California

Frank Zappa famously quipped that you can’t be a real country unless you have a beer. Well, a modern spin on that concept might be that you can’t be a real food unless you have an emoji. Currently, the Unicode Standard has 2,823 emojis, but a mere 105 of those are in the food and drink category according to Emojipedia. As a result, we’ve seen plenty of petitions for different items to finally get the icon they deserve. The avocado, for example, had plenty of interest before it was added. In 2017, Butterball pushed for a cooked Thanksgiving turkey emoji despite the fact that a live turkey emoji already exists. (Don’t ask for two emojis when some foods don’t have any!) And last year, Kendall-Jackson filed a 15-page petition for a white wine emoji to compliment the current red wine one. (See my previous note.)

Well, it’s 2019, and here we go again. In the lead up to National Almond Day on February 16 (not every food may have an emoji, but they all have a day), the Almond Board of California has created an Almond Emoji Petition to help convince the Unicode Consortium that you shouldn’t need six characters to let your friends know you’re eating an almond. You should only need one character. An almond emoji.

“The emoji trend is here and it’s here to stay,” the petition states. “Why do avocado and taco lovers get their own emoji but almond lovers do not? Sign the petition below to show support for #AlmondEmoji. Then spread the word!”

Frankly, it’s not the most compelling argument, but I will take up their cause – at least on an intellectual level. According to the USDA, more acres in the U.S. are dedicated to growing almonds than any other tree nut – by a significant margin, about three to one. Meanwhile, the site WorldAtlas.com suggests that almonds are the second most popular nut in the world by total consumption, behind only peanuts. And yet, when it comes to emojis, only two nuts have made the cut: peanuts and chestnuts. Peanuts clearly deserve their spot, but chestnuts? Seems like the Almond Board might have a case. Thumbs up, smiley face, clinking glasses!

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