Walnuts to Liqueur: Making Nocino with Chef Beth Maxey

Green Walnuts**This event has been rescheduled to July 31st, from 12:00-1:30**

Nocino is a traditional Italian liqueur made with green walnuts, spices and alcohol. It has a rich earthy flavor and is delicious as a digestive, over ice cream and as a reduction over duck breast…

Join Slow Food Seattle board member Chef Beth Maxey from 12:00 pm -1:30 pm on Saturday July 31st for a free hands-on Nocino making event in Volunteer Park and in an online community in the upcoming weeks as we share tips and forage for green walnuts (which are plentiful around the city).

Nocino making traditionally takes place during and after the festival of St. John the Baptist, where families and communities gather to feast and celebrate. Though we’re not celebrating a religious event, we’d love to preserve the conviviality of a community gathering. I’ll share my recipe from Italy as well as discuss regional variations and some of the technicalities of extractions. We’ll mix and mash nuts and flavorings and plan a follow-up tasting to see who really got it right. Also, since we will not add alcohol on site, only mash and mix the nuts, the event is appropriate (and fun) for kids too.

Follow us on Facebook? Here’s the event to RSVP and invite your friends. Follow the discussion here:
http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=71899262386&topic=15380

Below are instructions and guidelines for foraging and sourcing your own green walnuts, which are abundant around Seattle. You are still welcome at the event if you cannot find any but we encourage you to try.

Vintage Nocino AdPlease reply to beth@slowfoodseattle.org to let us know you’re participating so we can accommodate everyone with interest and share foraging and Nocino making tips with you even if you cannot make the event.

A brief list of supplies and exact location will be sent to email responders before the event.

Foraging Instructions:

There are two types of edible walnuts. Black or English and Persian. Both can be found around the city. The following links provide a picture of leaves of each tree for your identification.

Green walnuts can be hard to see. I have found most trees by noticing the shells from last year’s crop on the ground. Ask around, though, and you will most likely find one.

Green walnuts are ready when you can insert a strait pin in them easily. If you find walnuts at this stage you can pick them and keep them in your refrigerator.

Be careful when picking as the walnuts and branches secrete a milky sap that will oxidize and stain your skin a deep brown. I suggest using gloves and protecting all surfaces they might come in contact with.

If you cannot find any walnuts, try the farmer’s market. They are a bit of a rare items but often if you ask farmer’s will pick them for you.

Squirrels are quite fond of green walnuts; try and beat them to it.

If you find a good tree, especially one on public land, let us know.

Black Walnut Leaves:
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/senior/fruits/blackwalnut5.htm

Persian Walnut (also known as English Walnut) Leaves:
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/senior/fruits/walnute5.htm

Nocino-making