Beech Nuts Overview
Beech nuts are the seeds of beech trees. They are one of the few foods that humans can eat raw in their natural form (the whole seed). In the United States, most beech-nuts come from the Fagus species, in which beech trees grow abundantly.
They are the seeds of the beech tree that fall from the tree in late summer and early fall. When ripe, they can be collected and eaten raw, cooked or pressed for their oil. The beech tree is native to North America and is a hardy plant that thrives in moderate climates.
Beech-nuts come from the European beech tree. These fruits, also known as nuts or mast, can resemble small chestnuts in their appearance and taste when they are raw. They are a sweet tasting treat that can be consumed from the shell. In France, these items are often cooked on the grill to enhance their flavor and texture.
Are Beech Tree Nuts Edible?
Can you eat beech nuts? Beech tree nuts are the nuts that fall from Beech trees, which produce the edible beech kernels. All of these nuts grow on small fruit called “galls”, which form on the trees as a parasite. The beech trees actually use this gall to save energy and increase their chance of reproduction by producing both a nut and a tree. The nuts are not normally eaten because they have a hard shell that is difficult to crack, though some people do break them open and eat them as they would any other nut.
When do beech-nuts fall?
Beech nuts are generally available from the end of August until mid-October in most regions. Chestnut season begins in late September and runs through November. They are sold wholesale (in shell) and retail fresh, frozen, canned, roasted, pickled, boiled and in many recipes.
With a wide range of beech trees throughout North America, the time that beech-nuts fall varies greatly. The peak season is between early September and mid October. The majority of nuts in the United States fall in the states of Virginia, West Virginia, Montana, New Hampshire, and Maine.
What animals eat beech-nuts?
Whales and many other animals eat beech-nuts, including mice, squirrels, rabbits, cattle, and humans. The beech tree (Fagus) is a genus of ten species of deciduous trees native to temperate Europe and Asia and widely cultivated across the Northern Hemisphere.
Are Beech Nuts Safe to Eat?
Recent research suggests that the peanut and beech tree are more closely related than previously thought–genetically, at least. This begs the question- Are beech-nuts safe to eat? The answer is a resounding yes. In fact, people have been enjoying the crunchy snack for centuries and counting; perhaps, you can find some for your next snack!
How do you prepare beech-nuts to eat?
Beech nuts are delicious, healthy and relatively easy to harvest and prepare. Beech-nuts can be used as a substitute for almonds or peanuts in most recipes but are best eaten raw because they contain a high concentration of oil.
The process of preparing beech nuts to eat depends on how you are going to cook them. You can eat them raw, roasted, or boiled. If you are roasting the nut itself, this will take around 15-20 minutes in a pan with a knob of butter, 250 ml of water and a pinch of salt until it is warm.
What do beech-nuts taste like?
Beech nuts are a seed from the beech tree. They taste a bit like hazelnuts, but with a smoky edge. If you close your eyes, you could almost imagine these nuts were roasted in an ancient forest. These bits of crunchy, delicious nature are also an excellent source of protein and essential unsaturated fatty acids.
More Information about Beech-nut
Beech-nut is the fruit of Fagus sylvatica, one of the two species of beech tree. The fruit is an inverted cupule, similar to a hickory nut and inedible until the shell hardens. They take nine months to mature and are only harvested every other year because they grow on large trees. Beech nuts grown in North America are considered safe to eat.
The FDA classifies beech nuts as a “Tree Nut” in the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA). Many consumers are not aware that the consumption of tree nuts that have not been properly roasted or treated creates a serious risk for certain individuals with allergies or celiac disease with the ingestion of products containing unroasted nuts.
In recent years, there has been some confusion about the labeling of “Beech Nuts” versus “Beech Kernel Oil”, which is what most consumers seek when purchasing products containing beech! Roasted beech nuts contain little if any actual nut inside and are often processed with equipment used for peanuts which are also legumes making it difficult to clearly identify the product as safe for consumption. Unroasted or whole beech kernel oil, however, is safe