ST. LOUIS — Missouri holds the title of being the top producer of Black Walnuts, which are also edible and serve as the official tree nut of the state. Their fruiting season occurs between September and October, so do not miss the opportunity to enjoy them.
The black walnut tree is easily identifiable by its substantial, straight trunk and open canopy. It is recognizable by the presence of nuts, a distinct spicy fragrance, large feather-compound leaves, and twigs with hollow pith.
Black walnuts grow individually or in pairs on twigs, enclosed in green, rounded husks measuring 1½ to 2½ inches in diameter. These husks conceal the round, solid, bony, deep brown, or black nuts, which have oily, sweet, and edible kernels.
These nuts have a high protein content. They are hand-harvested and find their way into a wide array of culinary creations, from savory to sweet.
Additionally, the sturdy wood from these trees is a prized resource for crafting fine furniture and durable gun stocks. Even the husks have their purpose, as they can be harnessed for dye-making, while the shells can be used in many ways such as cleaning, water filtration and in the old industry.