Posted by / Monday, November 28, 2011

Black Walnuts: Part II

You may remember from my Black Walnuts: Part I post, we learned how to get the hull off the outside of the walnut, rinse and dry them. I mentioned I thought that was a tough job all in itself. Once the nuts had dried (about 2 weeks) they took on the black walnut look and texture. Using a hammer and smacking the nut on the driveway several times generally caused the nut to shatter into several pieces. Not all were as clean as the one below:

Utilizing a pair diagonal pliers I then snipped the thick walled channels inside the cracked shells to release the nut meat.

Out of the 20-25 nuts I opened I was able to salvage a little more than half a cup of nuts. These pieces will be cherished and eaten sparingly. As I continue to mention, this is one tough nut! I can only imagine the process the first person took to get into these. I am even more curious as to how a current day nut plant gets into these using machinery. No matter how it's done — I now know why these nuts come with a hefty price tag.

Have you ever had experience with cracking open black walnuts? If so what is your method for getting to the meat?


  1. I have two large trees surrounding the yard on my wooded half acre that drop nuts to the point of annoyance - I can't walk back there during season without dodging or tripping. (It's actually become dangerous, that many and large, falling.)
    I have seen the squirrels make work of black walnuts once the outer green husk begins to rot away, and because of your post I may see if I can harvest a few of these for myself.

  2. My manfriend is coming in from out of town for Thanksgiving and I want to make him some black walnut ice cream. I have cleaned and dried the walnuts and am now in the process of cracking them open. Inside some of them the nut is an almost black color but inside is like a regular color. Should I discard those? Thanks


"Some people eat to live; I live to eat." -Tim Vidra

An avid home cook, I believe in using simple ingredients, local when possible and am inspired by the principles of supporting a sustainable food system. I’ve cultivated this blog as a way to share my passion for the preparation and enjoyment of food in a way that everyone from beginners to long time foodies can get involved in.



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