Acorn Meal – Essential Nourishment of the Southwest
Acorns are one of the great traditional foods of the Southwest, they have been savored from peoples as varied as the indigenous peoples of southern California to the Irish settlers of New Mexico. I cannot speak for the Oaks of other parts of the country, but I can say quite definitively that the acorns of my home region are of unparalleled tastiness. In fact, I prefer them over every other nut I have ever tasted and that covers quite a range. While I once preferred Hazelnuts, I have been slowly but surely won over by the local acorns and pine nuts to the point that other nuts almost seem strange to eat.
There is the unfortunate misconception that acorns are always very bitter, but this is simply not true. ~No boiling or leaching necessary!~ Our acorns need but the gentlest of processing — only to be gathered, roasted to a medium brown color before being shelled and ground to a fine meal. They do not even need to be gathered brown, it’s perfectly fine to harvest them while still green and on the tree, as long as they have reached near their full size.
Once they have been made into a fine meal, they can be added to soups, breads, tortillas, cakes, brownies and every form of chocolate imaginable. They add a flavor reminiscent of hazelnuts, coffee and chocolate that varies from tree to tree and species to species, but is delightful in every manifestation. There is a delicated magic to these wonderful nuts, touched by faery and blessed by a special richness unlike any other food.
Keep an eye out for Loba’s upcoming post on the Anima blog also all about acorns (we are a little bit obsessed) and will include lots of lovely recipes. For now, you can check out my previous posts and recipes.