our oak trees have gone crazy this year. i think i have heard of people eating acorns-native americans maybe? anyone have more information on this possibility or know how they taste, etc
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Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.
Well, here is some information. The process is clearly not for the faint of heart or will unless one is a squirrel: http://www.eattheweeds.com/www.EatTheWeeds.Com/EatTheWeeds.com/Entries/1959/8/10_Acorns:_More_Than_Survival_Food.html
Lisanne is a trusted home cook.
Sorry, boulangere, the link did not work for me. I do remember learning as a Girl Scout, though, that the native Americans in the area I grew up pounded them to a paste and cooked them, otherwise they were poisonous. I would be wary!
Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking
You have to copy boulangere's whole url, you can't just click on it. A nice little article. Your Girl Scout memories are sort of right--they aren't poisonous, but they take a lot of work to not be really bitter.
I got out my old copy of Stalking the Wild Asparagus to see what Euell Gibbons had to say. His advice is that some species are pretty good without a lot of treatment but others are loaded with tannins that have to be leached out. He recommended two general cooking methods: One is to boil them fore two hours with several changes of water, then drying in a slow oven and grinding coarsely. He called the result acorn grits and used them as you would chopped nuts. His other method, acorn meal, called for grinding dry, raw acorns, mixing the meal with boiling water, and processing through a jelly bag. For bitter acorns, this process had to be repeated several times. Then the meal was spread out and dried in the sun or in a slow oven. The acorn meal becomes caked during drying, so it has to be reground. Be prepared that acorns processed by these methods become very dark in color. Gibbons had another method to yield a lighter meal, a cold water leach.
I remember trying the Euell Gibbons directions when I was about 14. I found this falls into the category of: "Yes it is eventually edible but way too much work and doesn't really taste that good in the end, so why bother."
You can give it a try, but try to find the varieties of oak that are milder to begin with...
Exactly my memory. We did it once, we won't do it again. But, if someone else want's to do it once, I can't wait to hear about it. In general, the white oak's acorns are less tannic than others. Those are the ones with rounded rather than spiky lobes.
This article was in the New York Times last October, and is a rather refined way to use acorns. The link is to the recipe. From there you can find the article that goes with it.
This seems to be another good acorn year. If you're quiet here, you can hear them plopping all around. Then in the summer I'll be pulling up baby oak trees again!
thanks for the info everyone. i haven't read the nyt article yet but thought i'd report.
acorns are so thick in my backyard that i am vacuuming them up with my shop vac! it's like walking on ball bearings to get to the car. just out of curiosity i am dumping them into baskets. so far i have 2 bushel baskets full and i'm about half done i estimate. so you can see why i am curious to know if they are edible.
after reading what you've given me and some other things on the web (including a bunch of "survivalist" websites and videos that frankly creeped me out), today i cracked one and tasted it. very mild-no tannin that i could detect but no real flavor either. mouth feel of a peanut but nothing interesting in the taste.
don't know if i will do anything more than finish the vacuuming-but i will read the nytimes article to see what different way they had to approach the subject.
thks everyone for the help.
this just popped up on my facebook feed: