Hickory Nuts

christie_sw_mo(Z6)October 25, 2008

I picked up some large hickory nuts when I was walking a week or two ago. With the husks off, they're about the size of a small walnut. I don't know what kind they are but I had to whack them pretty hard with hammer to crack them open. There's some smaller ones in the picture too that were off of a different tree.

We have at least three hickory trees on our lot but they're not big enough to produce. I picked these up off the side of the road.

I'm still waiting on my pecans. The husks haven't started splitting open yet.

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jspeachyn5

They look great, Christie.
My son is picking walnuts up from his yard, every few days.
Do you know where cashews come from?
I need to do a search.
I have often wondered.
They are my favorite.
My mother and family all really like the nuts that are to be found in this area.
Are yours the thin shelled type?
Bonnie

    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 10:09PM
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bunny6(7 AR)

I found some hickery nuts in the forest last week. It took several wacks with a hammer to open it.

I love walnuts. My grandmother had large walnut trees and we use to crack them with a rock to eat them.

When I was child, we lived outside of Bakersfield, Calif. and my father worked for a huge farm that grew different variety of nuts and olive trees. Cashews was one of the nuts that they grew. When it came time to harvest the cashews, they would have people guard the nuts at night, because cashews are so expensive. Once harvested the nuts were loaded into enclosed tankers and driven to the factory The farms sold those packages that you can buy with cans of different types of nuts.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 12:36AM
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gldno1

I didn't realize we had so many different varieties of hickory in SW Mo. I found this info this morning on MDC's website.

I know we have some on the farm, but usually by the time I think of them, the squirrels have taken them all.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hickory Trees

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 6:26AM
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ceresone(missouri ozarks)

I guess we're never too old to learn--I picked up 5 gallon of pecans--and someone finally told me they wouldnt be good if they fell inside the shell. So I mowed close under the trees, so perhaps I could see when they start falling minus shell.--Which mine havent either, Christie.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 8:41AM
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christie_sw_mo(Z6)

You made me curious about cashews Bonnie so I Googled it. They're a tropical evergreen tree. The cashew nut hangs down below the cashew "apple". I think both are edible but I'm not sure. The photo below is just off the web from someone's trip to Costa Rica. No wonder they're expensive.

I looked at that link Gld. I don't know what kind of Hickory tree those nuts were from. I don't think it was a Shagbark.

The pecans that fall early before the husks split open may have worms in them. I've been trying to check mine almost every day. My dad keeps warning me that they will disappear quickly once they are ripe. He uses a rake on an extension to pull them down with after the husks start to split.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 8:16AM
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jspeachyn5

Yeah christie,
I decided to look them up also.
Both parts are edable.
The lower is to be something w/a pear type texture and a bit bitter.
The nut is enclosed in a covering all it's own.
It has a toxic gel inside between the shell and nut fruit.
It is supposed to be something like poison ivy.
A big process to clean and get ready to eat.
It also said that they have guards to watch the loaded cars before they are shipped.
Wow, now I know why they cost so much.
It also said you could grow the tree. but really who would want to with that much trouble to have a few cashews? Not me.
Bonnie

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 8:49AM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I have been picking up my black walnuts and putting them on my driveway to get the hulls smashed off. I have time but it seems tedious to crack and pick them out of the shells. They are expensive so I guess it is worth the effort. What do you do with them? Do you store them in the shells and crack as needed or shell and freeze? I am not a baker, but I could give them to people. Last year the squirrels ate them risking their little lives since I have 5 predators here.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 5:45PM
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lucky_p

Hey, Christie,
Those big hickories are shellbarks, C.laciniosa, also known as 'kingnut hickory' or 'big shagbark' hickory. Stark Bros. used to sell a seed-strain of shellbark hickory that they advertized as "Missouri Mammoth" hickory.
The shells are typically thicker than most shagbark nuts, but they're so much bigger to start with, that you can pile up a bigger mass of nutmeats when you're done cracking out a bunch. Many of them tend to have kind of a 'fuzzy' pellicle/tegmentum covering the kernel, but they taste great!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 8:56PM
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christie_sw_mo(Z6)

The kernels are smooth on these. I guess there's no way to know whether it came up wild or was planted there by someone years ago. The yard it's closest to has a home that may have been built around the 60's I'm guessing. I'm sure it must fall into the catagory of being a "negative calorie food" because they're not easy to crack or pick out. I had to chase a few that took off across the concrete when I hit them with the hammer.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 5:58PM
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jspeachyn5

As I sit here laughing, I can picture you chasing that poor thing w/a hammer.

Bonnie

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 8:55PM
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lucky_p

Christie,
While a hammer will do in a pinch, your best bet would be a good nutcracker - one designed for use on hard-shelled nuts like black walnut(check out the NNGA Marketplace page at the site linked below). But a good bench-mounted vise will work just as well, if a bit slower to operate. I have cracked small numbers of them with a pair of vise-grip pliers - but I wouldn't want to do many that way.
If you'll soak your clean hickory nuts in a pan of hot/warm water for an hour or two before beginning a session of cracking, you'll find that the shells will absorb enough moisture to bend, buckle, and split, rather than 'exploding' when you reach 'critical pressure'. Then, with a pair of diagonal wire-cutting pliers and a nutpick, you can usually give a snip here and there and remove the nutmeats mostly as intact halves or quarters.
Nuts from every different tree will have differing cracking characteristics, and you'll have to experiment to see if they crack out better by applying force from end-to-end, or side-to-side, etc.

Here is a link that might be useful: Northern Nut Growers Association

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 7:59AM
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