I did not know that…

A few weeks back we started noticing green fruits in some of the trees around the place.  We didn’t think too much about it because, well, it’s autumn and that’s what’s meant to happen.  We thought they were probably small quince and dismissed them as insignificant.

Last weekend, I met an old man who was collecting stuff from the ground.  I’m a nosey old bag and I’m not about to let my linguistic ability hamper my innate curiosity, so I asked him was he looking for mushrooms Cherchez vous les champignons or something like that.

No, he replied, and he used a word I didn’t recognise.  The he held up the slightly-blackened green fruit and said “nut” in English, but with a French accent so it sounded like “noo.”

I looked closely and went “OooooooH!”

This is what they look like – a blackened one I picked off the ground on the left and a green one I picked off a tree on the right.

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And this is what’s inside :

 

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Anyone still not recognise it?

Does this help?

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Yup, walnuts!

Ok, so I never knew that walnuts grow inside a green outer shell.  When I stop and think about it, why wouldn’t they?  Look at chestnuts, beech nuts and avocados (the walnut casings really reminded me of avocados for some reason).

I’m full sure some of you are sniggering and thinking “Imagine not knowing that!” in much the same way as we sniggered at my American aunt who did not know that peas grew in pods (well she claimed not to, now I’m wondering if she did it for comic effect).  But for all the rest of you, especially the Irish ones for whom ‘walnut’ means something vaguely brain-shaped and pretty bitter, this is how they grow.  In a green pod/container/outer casing.

And do ya know what else?  They’re nowhere near as bitter when they’re fresh.

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7 thoughts on “I did not know that…

  1. I was thinking avocado from the picture…

    You can’t plant much under walnut trees as they secrete a toxin that kills off competitive vegetation. Thinking it’s bad for horses to eat around them too…

    Lucky you – they’re so delicious fresh!

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  2. Ah yes! We have butternut here. But that husk will stain your fingers something awful. That’s why it was used as a dye. Confederate soldiers of the Civil War wore uniforms dyed with butternut, aka “butternut boys”.

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  3. They are delicious “wet” like that so much nicer than the dried ones you get for Christmas. Be careful of the black outer casing as it stains like crazy, used to be used as a dye.

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