Monday, 31 August 2009

Beech Nuts

I decided to gather some beech nuts.
I found that the ones that were already fallen had largely been stolen by local wildlife, so I decided to pop one into my foraging bag and head home with it to see if I could convince it to open up. A couple of hours later on, still in the confines of my bag, it had opened up of its own accord.

The next time I gathered some I got a larger number that were still closed and when I got home, I put them on top of the oven whilst I was cooking, for about an hour. They all slowly opened so I'd bet they'd do the same within an airing cupboard or other warm environment.

I'd decided that I was going to have them salted, so I took them all from their shells and roasted them, once they'd been roasted I peeled them.
This has taught me that when you gather beech nuts, you gather a lot. A LOT. They're pretty tiny once they're out of their shells and then are peeled:
That's a teaspoon!
Also, when you start to peel them, quite a number are empty, somewhere between a quarter and a half of what I'd collected didn't contain the actual nut part.
Another also, it's really, really fiddly.
I'm pleased I only gathered a small number because it meant I got to taste them and make sure I liked them and wasn't faced with a bag full of something I really didn't enjoy.
I don't like them raw at all, but as is usually the case, once they've been roasted the flavour is quite different.
I'll add the 'recipe' at my cookery blog.

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