Can you eat a beechnut, and if so, how is it prepared?
#103227. Asked by author. (Feb 21 09 3:59 PM)
Yes, with a word of caution. Below are recipes for a pie and muffins made of beechnut.|
"More common use of the beechnut is the gathering and the extraction of oil from them by a pressing process. Beechnut oil is used in cooking and also as a salad oil. Sometimes it is used as a butter substitute. This is more common in France.
Mostly, however, the beechnut of America is grown for the beauty of the tree and for the abundant supply of the nut for wild animals."
The word of caution comes from a French site which states that the covering of the nut can cause migraines and even convulsions.
"Du fruit de hêtre (la faîne), on extrait une huile comestible (il faut 50 kg de faîne pour fabriquer 10 l). Mais son enveloppe contient un principe toxique (qui donnent des migraines et des convulsions). De plus, l'huile de faîne se conserve mal..."
>>>> (my translation) From the beechnut is extracted an edible oil (50kg of nuts are needed to make 10 liters of oil). The covering (of the nut) contains a toxic substance which can cause migraines and convulsion. Furthermore, the oil does not keep very well..
Another French site notes that the beechnut is used more as animal food and that humans consume it only when other food is scarce. Again, it notes that beechnut has to be processed into flour or brewed into coffee and does not mention eating the nuts raw (presumable because of that toxic substance which apparently is neutralized by heat).
"La faîne (Fagus spp, Fagacées) sert principalement à nourrir le bétail : l’être humain l’a consommée surtout en temps de disette, la transformant alors en farine à pain et s’en servant comme substitut de café."
>>>>The beechnut is used mainly to feed livestock and humans eat it mainly in times of need, as flour or as a coffee substitute.
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