Are Pin Oak Acorns Edible?

Oak trees (Quercus spp.) That fall, reproduce by means of acorns or are harvested in large numbers by birds and squirrels. All acorns are edible, however they must undergo leaching to remove the tannin which makes them bitter. Acorns made by members of the white oak tree group are believed less bitter and sweeter-tasting than those of the red oak group, where the pin oak (Quercus palustris) is a member.

Pin Oak Facts

Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 8, pin oak is native to the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. Tolerant of moist soil, is grows to maximum 70 feet tall with a 60-foot-wide canopy. Its acorns have saucer-shaped, shallow caps and step 1/2 inch. Acorns of northern pin oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis) are somewhat longer, and each one’s cap covers almost half of this nut. Northern pin oak achieves exactly the same maximum height and spread as walnut and is hardy in USDA zones 4 through 7.

Leaching Truth

Their bitter flavor is removed by leaching acorns in water. One method requires putting the nuts, running them through the fine plate of an espresso grinder to form nut meal, soaking the nut meal in boiling water for one hour so that the water turns brown, and reboiling the nut meal into fresh water as often as necessary until the water remains clear. After the nut meal dries in a location that is warm and is ground another time, it is ready to use for baking and cooking.

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