With autumn come the nuts, and Arkansas is full of ’em.
This morning I went on a short walk and found some hickory (Carya tomentosa) and Black Walnut (Juglans nigra).
I wanted to find out if processing needed to be done before munching and ran across Mother Earth’s Fall Guide to Nuts.
In case you’ve never read Mother Earth before, it’s one of the best sustainable living publications that I’ve run across and has been around for quite some time.
Most nuts you find you won’t have to process. They can be shelled and eaten raw. But with the Black Walnut, you do need to get the shell from the hull and then let it dry before eating. In some cases you may also want to roast the nut before eating, depending upon what stage of decomposition the hull was in when you found it.
If completely black, it’s best to leave it to the wildlife, because the tannins have leached into the nut meat and made it bitter. If the hull is still green, cut it from the nut, wash and set the nut (still in shell) out to dry.
The hickory nut needs no processing at all. You can take it from it’s hull, shell and eat it. The hickory I found wasn’t worth the trouble. I broke open the shell and the meat was tiny. The taste was a bit bland, but Jack (my dog) enjoyed it.
You can also find acorns, pecans and chinquapins in the area.
Time to go nuts!