Uŋskúyeča na úta: Burr oaks and acorns

Acorn (úta) season is finally here!

Acorns have been one of my favorite foods since childhood. The acorns we have in this area, Uŋskúyeča, Burr Oak, or Quercus macrocarpa, are thought of as some of the best in North America, due to their more tannic acid content.

I’m happy to report that I didn’t make the same mistake add last year, when I got the timing wrong and missed the harvest. I’ve been paying closer attention to the little acorns this year as they got bigger, and finally started turning brown and dropping from the trees.

While we don’t have an especially abundant harvest this year due to tree diseases, insect predation, and other factors, I was still able to find enough to cook with, both on the forest floor and barely hanging onto the trees but ready to come off.

I didn’t want to take too many, out of respect for my non human neighbors, but here’s a pic of my harvest:

For those who haven’t harvested or worked with acorns before, this is the time of year to give it a try. Go for the ones with white eyes (the part that connects then to their caps) and no bumps or holes that could indicate that they’re hosting a bug.

Put them in a basket somewhere dry, and in a couple months once their shells dry out a bit and they’re easier to peel, you’ll be ready for some acorn recipes, which I’ll include at as later date.

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