Difference between revisions of "Acorn"

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* [https://baynature.org/article/traditional-modern-methods-acorn-preparation/ "Traditional and modern methods of acorn preparation."] Also has information on [[bay nuts]].
 
* [https://baynature.org/article/traditional-modern-methods-acorn-preparation/ "Traditional and modern methods of acorn preparation."] Also has information on [[bay nuts]].
 
* [https://www.sfgate.com/homeandgarden/article/Acorns-Not-just-for-squirrels-anymore-2303984.php "Acorns: Not just for squirrels anymore"]
 
* [https://www.sfgate.com/homeandgarden/article/Acorns-Not-just-for-squirrels-anymore-2303984.php "Acorns: Not just for squirrels anymore"]
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* [https://www.ediblemontereybay.com/online-magazine/fall-2015/roadside-diaries-acorns/ Roadside Diaries: Acorns]
  
 
= References =
 
= References =

Latest revision as of 16:21, 6 November 2019

One of my favorite Korean 반찬 is acorn jelly in a bit of soy, sesame, and scallions. Of course, most restaurants don't use acorns for this dish. They typically use gelatin or agar agar.

Mom once foraged for acorns, made flour, and made real acorn jelly. It was absolutely delicious.

Foraging

Different types of acorns:

  • Easier to determine type of oak by leaf than by acorn. Use Acorn ID.
  • Valley Oak acorns are big, low in tannins, and carbohydrate-rich (resulting in a drier flour)
  • Other low in tannins:
    • Biggest acorns: Black oak (California), White oak (east coast), Burr oak (Midwest)
    • Others: Emory oak (southwest), Pin oak (south), Blue oak (California), Cork oak, Bellota oak. Lots of California cities plant cork and burr oaks.
  • Fattiest (good for oil):
    • West Coast: Live oaks, Coastal oak, Interior live oak, tanoak, black oak
    • East Coast: Red oak

Coastal live oaks are native and plentiful in the Bay Area. However, natives felt acorns from live oaks were "too wormy" and "too easy to get — nothing that plentiful can be very good."[1] Its meats are yellow and bitter, so natives used them for gruel flavored by venison.[2]

Gather fallen acorns anytime from September through March. However, it's good to ignore the first wave of fallen acorns (early September), because they're almost always infected by oak weevil larvae. Healthy acorns typically fall later in the month.[3] Things to avoid:

  • Little holes in shell, a sure sign of weevil
  • Dark spots
  • Still have caps
  • Shells separating from disc at top (where it attaches to cap)
  • Dead sprouts

Other useful facts:

  • 1 lb acorns => 1 cup flour
  • Suellen Ocean (author of, Acorns and Eat 'em) collects sprouted Tanoak acorns (sprouts up to 1-2 inches long, but before meat turns green) in February and March. Recently sprouted acorns aren't wormy and have begun converting starch to sugar.

Flour

Dry the acorns in the sun for 2 (for brown) to 5 (for green) days in wide, shallow pans. Dried acorns will keep for up to two years.

Shelling. Put flat end (where cap covered) on firm surface, whack the pointy end with hammer. With long, tapered acorns, whack the side. Put shelled acorns in water to prevent oxidization.

Some acorns (e.g. red oak) have "test" (i.e. a skin like a chestnut). Either boil 5-10 at a time, and shell those while hot, or freeze the fresh acorns (recommended). Skin will come off more easily.

Grind raw acorns into flour using Vitamix.

Leaching. Mix 1 cup of acorn meal to 3 cups water. Pour into glass jar, and refrigerate. Every day, shake the jar, wait 12 hours or more, and pour off the water through cheesecloth. Repeat for 3-5 days or up to 2 weeks, depending on how bitter the acorns are.

Dry the flour in oven set at warm. Grind one more time.

Freeze fresh acorn meal. Store dried flour in refrigerator.

See Also

Hank Shaw, as always, has a number of great resources on cooking and eating acorns (including the one linked above):

Other resources:

References

  1. Michael Procopio. "Foraging for the apocalypse." Bay Area Bites, Oct 19, 2007.
  2. Emily Moskal. "Traditional and modern methods of acorn preparation." Bay Nature, December 5, 2013.
  3. T. Abe Lloyd. "How to eat an acorn." Wild Harvests, November 1, 2012.