[NAFEX] Edible Acorns

Donna &/or Kieran holycow at cookeville.com
Sat Sep 15 10:22:57 EDT 2007

"Most acorns require repeated
leeching over the course of hours or days. "

My response:
I have used acorns from white oak, chestnut oak, and English white oak, and 
all of them took a matter of minutes to wash off the tannins once they had 
been ground or zapped in a blender.

"As for taste, "chestnuts are a real treat roasted and
eaten on their own". No one will ever say that about
an unleeched acorn."

My response:
No one raves much about raw rhubarb either, but I have met people who were 
crazy about rhubarb pie.  In fact, I don't know anyone who grows wheat or 
oats, presumably because they require threshing and grinding or rolling 
before use, and they don't taste all that great if you just put them in your 
mouth and chew them up.  That doesn't stop wheat from being a major staple 
food.  Apparently aronia berries are pretty awful before juicing, but that 
doesn't stop NAFEXers from being interested in them and using them, nor does 
it stop the large scale cultivation of Aronia for commercial use in Europe.
    I have actually read where people were asking if they could buy acorn 
flour anywhere, we are talking commercially, meaning that the equipment 
would exist for leaching the flour.  Any commercial production of any 
agricultural product is predated by those who dabble and experiment in 
growing and processing the product.  That means people like us.
    The fact is that acorns are pretty easy to collect or to grow and to 
process.  They taste quite good in baked goods, much better than chestnuts 
in fact.  I have 4 youngish chestnut trees and look forward to all the 
chestnuts I want.  In the meanwhile the woods are full of oak trees, plus I 
have young burr oak grafts thanks to Lucky.  Acorns may not be quite as 
handy as chestnuts for some purposes, but flavorwise chestnuts are not a 
substitute for acorns in other applications.
    I have room for both chestnuts and acorns.  I have hopes for the 
chestnut trees, but fears also as the bud mite is headed my way.  I like to 
hedge my bets, and having a nice selection of large nutted oak trees sounds 
to me like a good way to go.  Personally, I like to think of us NAFEXers as 
pioneering new crops and new selections, but there is the possibility that 
the world as we know it may come to an end.  I'd like to think that my patch 
of crummy clay would serve as a food source for me and even more so for 
people after me.  I have encountered so many tiny Edens in my life, places 
where food falls from trees year after year even in this awful climate with 
it's depleted soils.  I want to leave a little Eden for someone else, a 
place where my oaks tower and drop vast amounts of food, where sacks can be 
filled with chestnuts, where persimmons lie thick and sweet on the ground, 
where pears hang thick on the trees and huge overgrown blueberry bushes are 
alive with birds and small boys.    Donna


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