Acorns, or Oak Nuts?

by Green Deane

in Blog

It seem like a little thing that grew into a big problem, just like the edible I was writing about.

I had several requests to do something about acorns. Though a well-covered edible on the Internet and in nearly every foraging book most people think they are poisonous, a rather surprising idea. They are not, unless you’re a horse. After writing my article I had a quandary: Do I index it under oak or acorns? It would seem oaks and acorns are in rare company, a nut that is not the same name as the tree.

Cashews come from a ….cashew tree. Pecans from a pecan tree. Walnuts from a walnut tree. Acorns from an Acorn Tree…wrong…

I started a list in my mind… apples, apple tree; oranges, orange tree; mulberries, mulberry tree… persimmons, almonds, cherries, plums, loquats, grapes..well, grape vine. but still grape. One even gets ‘ears” from the Ear Tree, but acorns….

Now hazelnuts do come from the Hazelnut tree, but so do “filberts” because the hazelnut ripens around St. Filbert’s day….Aug. 20…no, I really didn’t know there was a St. Philibert …built a lot of churches in the early 800’s, one with his name still standing….so we get both filberts and hazelnuts from the hazelnut tree.  I could try to add that whiffles come from the whiffle tree but they come from the Ash tree, and they aren’t even edible (it’s a part of carriage or cart that transfers the pulling of the horse to the vehicle.)

So I decided to index acorns under acorn, not oak. No one goes looking for an oak recipe, and acorn looks good at the top of an edible index. And I think I’ll start calling oaks “acorn trees.”

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