Turkey oak (Quercus cerris) acorns : I found a lovely stand of mature trees on Weds, the ground scattered with huge acorns, and their attractive squid-like cups covered in tentacles left still nestled amongst the remaining leaves on the trees.
Acorns are very bitter due to their high tannin content, and eaten raw can cause gastric upset. Oaks are in the beech family, so acorns or oak nuts are in fact a kind of ‘mast’.
I read that the smaller the cup in relation to the size of the nut, the lower the tannin level – well, I’ll find out!
I’m peeling them today then I’m going to try two methods of leaching them, a bag in the cistern of my toilet for a few weeks, and also coarse grinding and leaching in cold water, changing regularly.
I’m planning to make acorn flour, and maybe try the coffee substitute but I’m less bothered about that I think. Acorn flour is gluten-free and tastes nutty. Boiling the acorns to leach them is quicker but it cooks the starch and removes the nutritious oils as well as the tannins so I’m going the longer route 🙂