Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Have you ever heard of a chinquapin? This was one of my favorite "wild" foods to go out gathering when I was growing up. Fortunately, there was a bush that grew right at the end of my grandparent's driveway, so I never had to walk too far to get a chinquapin fix!

We always called them "chinky-pins" or "chink-a-pins". I remember how getting the little nut out of the burr was always a prickly undertaking because those little spines sure will stab you! You could wait for the burrs to open wider or even shake the chinquapins from the tree, but birds loved them as much as I did, so you had to take some risks to beat the early birds! Chinquapins start getting ripe in September and they taste very similar to a chestnut, but they are much sweeter.

It has been years since I have had a chinkypin. This coming weekend is The Chinquapin Festival in my hometown of Meadows of Dan, Virginia. If you get the chance, stop in for a visit!

Chinquapin Festival


  1. When I was a child there were chinquapins all along Concord Road in the fence line from Matt's house to Grandpa's. The state came through and cut the banks way down and the fences and trees are gone now. Chinquapins are getting hard to find these days. Looking forward to seeing you at the festival. I'll be working at Sue's shop.

  2. I am pretty sure we are coming for a visit on Saturday and of course, we will be stopping by the shop!


  3. And all this time, I thought it was a pony. I 've never had one and don't think I've ever seen one. Never been to the Festival and until you posted mention of it here, I'd never heard of it. I need to get out more. I'm obviously missing something good.

  4. Dave, if you can find a chinquapin, you gotta try it! They are AWESOMELY good!


  5. We always called them "chinkypins" and I LOVED them. Although I didn't much like the spines in my palms...

    I live and Williamsburg now, and haven't seen any here. I miss my mountains!

    I didn't realize there was a festival in Meadows of Dan. It really makes me wish I were going to B'burg this weekend. Oh well.

  6. Rach, Did you ever get one of the little spiny things from the end of the chinkypin stuck in your throat? It seems it was almost impossible to get out!

    I have never been to the festival, so I am really looking forward to it.

    I actually thought about ordering a couple of chinquapin trees and planting them at my home so that I will have a supply in the future. I know that they are hard to find these days and I have been unable to find anyone that even knows where any are growing... or maybe they are keeping their own secret stash...

  7. No, thank goodness, I never did get a spine stuck in my throat. I can't imagine!

    I hope you'll post about the festival, that way I can live through you. :o)


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