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!