Shelling Black Walnuts — Trickier Than You Might Think!


| 1/16/2018 9:39:00 AM


Tags: black walnuts, harvesting and processing nuts, Jennifer Quinn, Scott County, VA,

Jennifer Quinn

walnuts

Recently I wrote about finding a bumper crop of black walnuts on my property and learning how to remove the hulls and prepare them for shelling [An Overlooked Bounty]. Well, that was only the beginning. Two months or so later, after trying as best I could to get them dried out in front of my garage windows, I decided to tackle the job of shelling them.

The truth is, they really weren’t very dry. But by the time I got them collected and hulled, there wasn’t enough sun in my yard to dry them outside. The garage windows are the sunniest indoor location I have, but by late fall they only get a couple of hours of sunlight, and often very hazy sunlight at that. Not to mention that by late November the temperatures were dropping near freezing in there!

The first problem was that about half of them had gotten moldy. I decided to tackle those first. I was concerned about transferring the mold from the shells to the inside, so I began by scrubbing them with a toothbrush, scraping them with a fork, and rinsing them, then drying them in the oven for about a half hour. After all that, I found that they still had a peculiar odor, which I hoped hadn’t affected the meat inside.

The biggest problem was how to shell them. I had been warned that they were harder to crack than English walnuts. Boy, that was an understatement! The nutcracker did no good at all. Then somebody told me — in fact several people have told me — that you have to hit them with a hammer. (Everyone around here seems to know what to do with black walnuts!)

Dennie
1/19/2018 10:24:13 AM

Just purchase them online. There a few Christian groups, that sell black walnut meats. They would love the money. You would help them, and they would help you.





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