Black Ginkgo Nuts

 

Collected ginkgo nuts in their fleshy fruit form

Collected ginkgo nuts in their fleshy fruit form

Last week, I tried my first sautéed gingko nut. A very, very sautéed ginkgo nut. My coworker and I spent the better part of an hour boiling, picking apart, washing, and simmering the nuts I’d collected that week; after our efforts of tediously removing the thin outer covering, we set the range on low and retired to the study (aka my room) and drank wine and talked about everything under the sun.

Ginkgo Nuts with hard shells

Ginkgo Nuts with hard shells

Whether it was the wine or the chatting, I do not know, but after hearing a few pops and noticing the smoke beginning to billow in small furls from the pot, we rushed to the kitchen and snapped off the burner.

Beautiful ginkgo nuts lining a sunny street in Koriyama

Beautiful ginkgo nuts lining a sunny street in Koriyama

And so it is, my first attempt at cooking ginkgo nuts failed. Sort of. We tried one each, hoping we wouldn’t be found two days later foamy mouthed and lying cold on my kitchen floor. They were rock hard – the nuts, that is – and tasted a bit like popcorn. Not entirely a failure, and we survived to boot.

Since that night, I’ve gone on many runs to try and forage for more nuts, but it looks as though the old ladies have beaten me to it. And those that do remain have been smooshed by pedestrians or turned rotten in the cold air.

Nevertheless, it was great fun in the kitchen with my coworker, and I’ll now be better prepared for next year!

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