Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ginkgo Nuts



These ginkgo nuts were part of the bounty gathered from Central Park on my walk with Wild Man Steve Brill. I'd had them only once before, pan fried at Kaya in Porter Square, and have been on the lookout for these very un-nut like nuts ever since. Turns out I should have been looking down.

The orange, vomit smelling fruits of the ginkgo that contain the nut littered the ground in sections of Central Park. Since I've learned what they look like, I've seen them all over the country. To turn them from stinky sidewalk debris to an exotic delicacy, you just pop the nut out of the fruit, wash it and your hands, roast them for about 30 minutes at 300 degrees, and wash your hands a few more times.

Once you crack the paper thin shell, you'll see a steaming, Pernod colored soft nut. The taste and texture are unlike anything else I can think of, but seaweed bread pudding and hot boiled peanuts come to mind.

For a more detailed recipe, see Brill's site here.

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4 comments:

Jennifer said...

I saw a Ginkgo tree with Ginkgo nuts in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Watertown/Cambridge. I had never seen one before, and certainly didn't know they were edible.

Michelle said...

Jefferson made sure we have our share of ginkgo trees around here, but I also didn't realize the nuts are edible.

Anonymous said...

I have been eating Ginkgo nuts since I was a child. It is very much part of the Chinese food culture. It is used in stews and soups. You can purchase them in Chinese groceries and they aren't cheap. Note that many younger Ginkgo trees no longer bear fruit because nurseries now only sell males trees that don't produce fruit. Why? Like these blogs state, the pulp of the fruit really stinks. Walking around college campuses in the East Coast in the fall you often hear, "What is that awful smell? Did I just step on dog poop?" -Jack

James said...

I know about Ginkgo nuts. But i have never seen Ginkgo tree. I would like to see this tree and taste Ginkgo nut.