[NAFEX] Edible Acorns
Donna &/or Kieran
holycow at cookeville.com
Thu Sep 13 21:30:29 EDT 2007
I don't know how edible "sweet" acorns really are, most of the so-called sweetest species are just easy to leach the tannins from. Our state naturalist told me about a meeting of the American Chestnut Foundation that took place in the SW corner of VA, Abingdon. He'd spent years tasting acorns, and much to his surprise had found an a oak on the premises that had acorns that could be eaten as is. The chestnut fanatics weren't interested. He told me about it, I stopped and saw the tree on a trip, wrong time of year for acorns. Lucky has a graft from it.
Overall though, it's easy to get the tannins out of the white oak group, and the results are very tasty. They can be collected in quantity in good years, and are very quick and easy to shell using vice grips. Run them in a blender with plenty of water and pour off the water. Repeat till the water is no longer white. Take care to let the slurry settle each time, as the solids are the important part. Don't even think of pouring them into a sieve, I tried that once and lost most of the nutmeats down the drain. Pour the slurry into a bowl big enough to add other ingredients, let it settle and pour off however much water you can. I used to make bread, it was terrific, but now I'm on a gluten free diet, that's out of the question. I once used acorns to make cookies, they were really good too. I think next time I'll make some kind of quick bread or muffins.
I wish that someone was working with the black oak group. I have picked up acorns and nibbled them, once the bitter taste has faded, they taste very buttery. Unfortunately, the bitterness in that group is oil soluble, so it is dissolved in the very oil that makes them desirable. I'm sure they can be ground and mixed with clay to bind the tannins and would be quite nutritious that way, but I don't know that it would appeal to modern tastes. Anyone know any chemical techniques that might bind or remove the tannins? Guess I should ask my son, give him something to think about. Donna
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