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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Wild Black Walnuts (Blog Fifty-one)

This afternoon I gathered wild black walnuts from a tree that grows in our woods.  Last September and October, I neglected to forage for these nuts and spent the rest of the fall and winter regretting it.

Walnuts, especially the ones that grow wild, have a taste like no other nut.  To be sure, I enjoy eating domestic walnuts, often having them in my morning oatmeal.  But the nutmeat of the wild variety has an intensity all its own.  Indeed, it is almost as if one wild black walnut has twice the, well, nuttiness, the heartiness of flavor, jammed into it that two domestic walnuts would.

In a month or two, after the walnuts season for a while, I will remove the outer husks (while wearing gloves of course) taking care not to let them stain my clothes or hands.  Then I will wait another week or two, then remove the shells.

The remaining nutmeat will be used to season persimmon bread, paw paw pudding, and of course my oatmeal.  Elaine will also use the nutmeat for her other homemade breads.

Other wild nuts taste great, for example the ones from mockernut and shagbark hickories especially, but none can compare to the black walnut.

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