I had to dig back in the archives to find when we got the black walnuts. It was back in early October. The kids and I had removed the outer husks and they have been in a paper bag since. That really is ok. They do have to dry before you crack them. In fact, one book I have says that can be stored in their shells indefinitely. When our neighbor heard that we were foraging black walnuts, he gave us another bag of them. He had picked them up because he didn't want to see them go to waste, but really didn't want to use them.
This Sunday we couldn't work on the projects we had planned to because of rain. So with NASCAR in the background, we decided to dig out super duper nutcracker and work on the black walnuts. Why we thought this was an inside job, I'll never know. Shells were everywhere, but we still had fun and it was better than just sitting on the couch.
We shelled a small bag, and ended up with two cups of nut meat. Curious, I went online to see how much black walnuts are to buy. I checked two sources and found prices between $11 and $14 per pound.
In that search I also learned a few interesting (to me anyway) things about black walnuts. They only grow in the East. If you are from the West, or have never tried black walnut, it looks like the walnuts you are used to, but has a much stronger flavor.
Black walnuts are primarily harvested in Missouri, but they are not cultivated in groves. Unlike most nuts, they are mainly collected by the public and sold to the nut companies. I also found some good recipes, but I'll tell you more about those later. I found some great ideas and information at Nutsonline.
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