I agree with Leah that yes, of course it's food preservation. Looking at those recipes with the flavor descriptions - both the walnut wines sound amazing!
Personally, I don't drink very often, but one Christmas, a co-worker gave out homemade lemon cello--an Italian, usually chilled, summer time liqueur. It was SO fabulous it made me wish I could grow lemons to make it!!
(Hint, hint to my sis in California...grow lemons m'dear!! Or maybe find a neighbor who grows them and who would trade for your eggplants! )
according to a book I have..anything you PUT BY for later use is food preservation..whether it be cold storage, root cellar, under a bale of hay, frozen, dried, pickled, canned, frozen..or whatever..it is put by..or preserved for later use
Bloom where you are planted.
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
posted 8 years ago
Regarding nocino. It's an Italian liqueur made with unripe walnuts, still soft in their green husks. The time to make nocino is in late May, early June, when the shells have still not yet hardened. I've never seen green walnuts at any market, easier to find a friend with a walnut tree. You can also make green walnut pickles with the nuts, and even vin de noix or walnut wine.
Nocino Recipe The juice from the walnuts will permanently stain anything it touches, so you might want to wear gloves while cutting them. Wash down the cutting board as soon as you are done cutting the walnuts. INGREDIENTS
30 green walnuts, early enough in the season so that they are easily cut with a knife 2 cinnamon sticks 5 whole cloves 1-inch piece of vanilla bean Zest of one lemon, cut into strips using a vegetable peeler 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar 1 liter vodka Other recipes I've found use orange peel instead of lemon, use spices such as mace, or include grappa. The next time I make nocino I may try the orange peel and even add a little star anise. METHOD 1 Rinse and pat dry the walnuts. Cut them into quarters with a sharp chef's knife or cleaver. Be careful as you are cutting them; if you've waited too late in the season to pick them, their shells may have begun to harden and cutting through them may be a little dicey. Watch your fingers. 2 Put walnuts, spices, zest, sugar, and vodka into a large glass container. The vodka should cover the walnuts. Cover and shake to mix well. Store for 6 weeks, shaking daily. As the days go by you will notice that the color of the nocino gets darker and darker.
3 When you are ready to bottle, remove the walnuts and solids with a slotted metal spoon. (Again be careful where you do this as the walnuts and the nocino will stain.) Strain the liquid through several layers of cheesecloth into glass bottles. (I've seen recipes that call for straining the liquid through coffee filters which I think would work fine too.) Cork tightly. According to David, nocino will last for several years if stored in a cool, dry place. The nocino will initially be rather bitter, but it will mellow over time. It's best at least a year after it was first bottled. Makes about 1 quart. Great for gifts.
I think the two major distinctions between black & English walnuts are shell thickness and level of tannins, so maybe some theoretical analysis would be helpful...what can I say, it's the hammer I have.
Greater shell thickness would force you harvest earlier in the season.
Tannins in wine are traditionally moderated by aging: air seeps around the cork over its years in the cellar, and the oxidized tannins gradually bind to one another, and settle out as sediment. Typically this must be done very slowly, or the oxygen will attack flavors other than the tannin, but there have been advances in quick-aging of wine via electrolysis.
"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men. They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.
I made some vin de noix a few years ago. didn't have a recipe, but I liked the result. nobody else did. I'm sure using one of those recipes would lead to wider appeal. I think I'll try again this year.
our walnut tree doesn't even leaf out until the end of June, so the harvest dates recommended don't apply.
I do want to try the green walnut pickles, too. never looked at a recipe for those either, but I've heard that the tradition is to hang a sack full of green walnuts off of a dock where they would be underwater at high tide and above water at low tide. ideally that would be in salt water free of nastiness, which is fairly hard to come by these days.
I use a lot of black walnuts picked off a neighbor's lawn. Two trees make enough for them, their parents, and us. We prefer the ripe ones when we can get to them before the squirrels. One trick we learned about storing them for easier shelling is to only shell Last Years crop, not the current harvest. Letting them sit in a metal garbage can on the north side of our house for an extra year keeps the nuts cool, the squirrels away (only after we tied the lid down!), and makes the nuts easier to shell out. I'd say that it might be due to shrinkage from moisture loss but the nuts appear just as plump as fresh ones.
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