Acorns are the subject of a number of culinary mysteries, and many people are not sure whether the nuts are edible or poisonous. Here is what acorns are all about and whether you should enjoy them or avoid them.
Are acorns poisonous or edible? This question does not arise elderly people, because our grandmothers and grandfathers certainly know acorn coffee from the post-war period. Acorn bread and other dishes that could be baked with flour were also made from acorn flour in times of need. So this is not about culinary fairy tales, but about preparation methods that are slowly but surely being forgotten in our time.
Can you eat acorns?
Acorns are edible, but also poisonous, which sounds strange at first. When raw, the acorn contains a very high level of tannins, which give it a taste that we find very disgusting. If this is not off-putting enough, the tannins cause severe gastrointestinal distress such as nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea.
So to make acorns edible, these tannins must first disappear. This is achieved by carefully roasting the collected acorns in a pan, peeling them and soaking them for several days. During soaking, the fruits release the tannins into the water, which then turns brown. The water must be changed daily. If the water remains clear at the end of the day, the tannins have been washed out of the acorns and they can be dried and processed further.
How can acorns be used and eaten?
Once the tannins have been washed out, they can either be pureed and made into a paste, which is also good for freezing, or they can be dried and ground into flour. In this state, their ingredients come into their own, as acorns contain a large amount of energy in the form of starch, sugar and proteins (about 45 percent). In addition, there is a 15 percent share of oil. All of this together gives the flour a good adhesive effect in processing, which is why it is ideal for doughs. In addition, acorns are a real power food, as the long-chain carbohydrates provide energy to the body over a longer period of time.
Depending on the type of acorn used, the taste can be very neutral, which is why it is recommended to taste the doughs beforehand. In addition, longer acorns are easier to peel than the more round varieties.