Ginkgo nuts "dry fried" to eat
Ginkgo "dry fried" to eat

Eating ginkgo nuts - pictures


The main way to get the nuts is to find a female gingko tree. (These are despised by landscapers, but they are out there.) The easiest time to find them is in the fall. I assume you know what a gingko tree looks like in the summer (cool fan shaped leaves), and in the fall (the leaves turn brilliant yellow, then all fall off suddenly). After the leaves fall you can look for a tree like in the picture.

In late fall the fruit starts to fall. If you have not found your tree yet, at this stage you can start using your nose. The fruit stinks like baby vomit. You are going to have to get over that part when the hunting and gathering begins. To gather the fruit, and not gag, here is what I do. Bring a couple of plastic bags, and some of those disposable latex gloves. I use my shoe to sorta mash the pulp off. Then pick up the semi-clean seeds and store them in a few layers of plastic bags. This method is messier, but you do not drag home a bunch of stinky stuff.

Preparing the seeds. Wash the rest of the pulp off (it comes right off). Then "dry fry". Cook in a frying pan, pretty hot, with nothing but the nuts and a little salt. It takes a few minutes, until you start seeing little burnt spots on the nuts. That is it. Cool and serve. Just bite into them like a pistachio, or use a nut cracker. I only eat about 5 or 10 at a time, since I do not know if there is anything medicinal about them. I have not noticed anything. The friend who told me about these grew up in Japan and says they eat them as a special delicacy.

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