oral traditions continue on: acorn

oak

Question to Tom:

do you leach acorns? round my parts indigenous folks stored acorns in hollowed out cedar trunks. kinda like a frig. but is there a natural way to leach tanins that is not as daunting as long ago?

Tom’s answer:

But understand—-different species need to be treated differently—- The tannin content varies. The Apache tribe depended on the gambel oak acorns for a staple. While they were considered a vicious people— They became VERY UPSET When they were pushed off their land into areas where the gambel oak did NOT grow. They feared starvation with the loss of their customary food. The Apache ladies would harvest the acorns and bury them in a creek—under sand and rocks. They would dig them up a year later when they buried the NEW crop. But the leaching need not be so tedious. I used canyon live oak acorns indigenous to the Sierra. I was doing a caretaking thing at the time and living in a dumpy trailer. I kept hearing thunk, thud, as the acorns landed on the metal trailer house roof. I did some research and was delighted that those acorns are quick and easy to leach. The harvest was EASY! I just scooped the acorns off’n the roof. I made crackers from the ground up leached out mast. WOW! The smell—the flavor—the CONCEPT—eating the fruits of the mighty oak! Better yet—-I had a generous stash of pinon nuts. So I made pinon nut butter. Let me tell ya—I was doing a forestry maint. trip in a sequoia preserve—-AND I have NEVER eaten a more substantial food than acorn crackers smeared with pinon butter. Just a few of them would get me through the day WITH ENERGY TO SPARE! I felt as strong as an oak tree, too! The garry oaks indigenous to the NW are supposedly NOT THE BEST choice of acorns?? Haven’t tried them yet. So brushy around here and they rot away so fast. There are other oaks in parks here—-I will have to bicycle around and see what I can come up with. Must be thousands of tons of neglected acorns! A major UNtapped food source!”…different species need to be treated differently—-

The tannin content varies.

The Apache tribe depended on the gambel oak acorns for a staple.

While they were considered a vicious people—

They became VERY UPSET

When they were pushed off their land into areas where the gambel oak did NOT grow.

They feared starvation with the loss of their customary food.

The Apache ladies would harvest the acorns and bury them in a creek—under sand and rocks. They would dig them up a year later when they buried the NEW crop.

But the leaching need not be so tedious. I used canyon live oak acorns indigenous to the Sierra. I was doing a caretaking thing at the time and living in a dumpy trailer.

I kept hearing thunk, thud, as the acorns landed on the metal trailer house roof. I did some research and was delighted that those acorns are quick and easy to leach. The harvest was EASY! I just scooped the acorns off’n the roof.

I made crackers from the ground up leached out mast. WOW! The smell—the flavor—the CONCEPT—eating the fruits of the mighty oak! Better yet—-I had a generous stash of pinon nuts. So I made pinon nut butter.

Let me tell ya—I was doing a forestry maint. trip in a sequoia preserve—-AND

I have NEVER eaten a more substantial food than acorn crackers smeared with pinon butter. Just a few of them would get me through the day WITH ENERGY TO SPARE!

I felt as strong as an oak tree, too!

The garry oaks indigenous to the NW are supposedly NOT THE BEST choice of acorns??

Haven’t tried them yet. So brushy around here and they rot away so fast. There are other oaks in parks here—-I will have to bicycle around and see what I can come up with.

Must be thousands of tons of neglected acorns! A major UNtapped food source!

 

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