September - November
The fruit of the Shagbark tree, hickory nuts are native to North America and a relative of the pecan. Since hickory trees are not grown commercially, there are few hickory nut suppliers. If you are able to forage for them, you’ll notice how difficult it is to get the nut out of the shell. Giving the shell a good hit with a hammer about ⅓ the way down from the stem should be enough to crack it open.
The nuts have a rich, buttery flavor with little bitterness. Hickory nuts are regularly sold at Madison area farmers markets. Please let us know if you are aware of other sources by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nutrition: Hickory nuts are high in thiamine, a vitamin that helps maintain the heart, muscles and nervous system. They are a good source of protein and “good” unsaturated fats which help reduce the risk of heart disease. They are also a good source of zinc. Hickory nuts are high in calories due to the fat content (it’s the good fat though), so eat a handful sparingly, or chop a few as a topping to a salad.