Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Nutty Experiment

There are a couple of black walnut trees on the property of my principal workplace. I typically leave the nuts be, because they are so difficult to crack, requiring special equipment to do it correctly. This year, I made the decision not to let this bounty go to waste- I decided to make nocino, a traditional Italian liqueur made by steeping unripe walnuts in grain spirits, for the first time. This recipe (technically for a French liqueur de noix- same difference, da vero?) looked promising, so I went to work.

In a short period of time, I was able to pick a bag of unripe nuts, enough to make a nice batch of liqueur. Here's a picture of my nutsack:




The thick husks of the unripe walnuts have a lovely green color and a strong aroma reminiscent of citrus fruits. They look much like pears until you cut them open to reveal the characteristic shape of the developing walnut:




The nuts, cut into eighths, went into a jar with the requisite spices, and then I poured in the pure grain alcohol left over from my latest batch of limoncello (about half a cup) and some cheap vodka- David Lebovitz' quote on this matter is worth repeating: Use the absolute (not ‘Absolut’) cheapest vodka you can find. It’s lunacy to use something pricey when the least-expensive swill yields similar results. And believe me, French peasants ain’t cracking open bottles of Stoli to make this.

Now, the wait begins... from what I've read, it's madness to even consider opening the jar until two months have passed, and an actually enjoyable product should result by Christmastime. By that time, the walnut stains on my hand should be gone.

10 comments:

Jeffraham Prestonian said...

BWAH!

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

BWAH!

And you were expecting?

Smut Clyde said...

Those walnut cross-sections show the image of Alien Jesus. It's a miracle!

Smut Clyde said...

Also too, have you pickled them?

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Here's a picture of my nutsack:

Bada-boom!
~

bbkf said...

hmmm...methinks christmas in new york might be a good idear...also too, nice nutsack!

OBS said...

Here's a picture of my nutsack:

I expect a post summarizing your most recent search-term hits will follow soon.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Those walnut cross-sections show the image of Alien Jesus. It's a miracle!

ETRI?

Also too, have you pickled them?

No, I prefer to pickle myself. I have two jars of nocino steeping, but I have a couple of nuts left over, so I may pickle them (pickled green walnuts were a big thing a couple of centuries ago). The one pickle recipe I have tried most often is for Middle Eastern style pickled white turnips with a couple of beet chunks to provide a nice pastel pink color.

Bada-boom!

OH, YEAH!!!

hmmm...methinks christmas in new york might be a good idear...also too, nice nutsack!

Christmas Eve, babe, in the drunk tank!

I expect a post summarizing your most recent search-term hits will follow soon.

It's been a while...

Tengrain said...

I made this one year, too, and gave out sips like they were emeralds. It is so worth the wait.

Pro tip: Depending on what your spice mix is, you might want to take it out earlier (taste, taste, taste) when you find it is to your liking.

One year I made ma grandmère's Vin Ordinaire, which is essentially spicey orange liquere, and it was extraordinary. There are so many good, peasant-made hooch recipes to follow!

Rgds,

Tengrain

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I made this one year, too, and gave out sips like they were emeralds. It is so worth the wait.

Pro tip: Depending on what your spice mix is, you might want to take it out earlier (taste, taste, taste) when you find it is to your liking.

One year I made ma grandmère's Vin Ordinaire, which is essentially spicey orange liquere, and it was extraordinary. There are so many good, peasant-made hooch recipes to follow!


Excellent advice! If the experiment turns out to be a success, I'll make much more of it next year. I have a couple of huge black walnut trees on the property at work.