Beech-nuts are little, delicious snacks you can find in European forests
I first learned about this little brown tree seeds, when I went hiking with my family. On Autumn-hikes, my father used to stop with us at beech trees, showing us the little beech-nuts laying around.
Nobody really seems to know that you can eat this little fruit. The seeds are very tasty, taste a bit sweet, a bit nutty, as the English name suggests.
The first thing you want to do when looking for this little fruit is searching for an beech-tree.
They look like this:
Beech trees produce their seeds when they are about 40-80 years old, so look for some bigger trees (they don't need to be huge, though).
You'll find the fruits laying around at the bottom of the tree, during Autumn time.
Here is what they look like:
As you can see in the image, once you found the little seeds, you want to remove their shell, much as with sunflower seeds. You can instantly try some of them in their raw form. They will taste sweet and nutty.
But don't eat too much raw seeds at once, since they contain the toxin "fagin". It will give you stomach aches if you really eat a lot. However, they are rather healthy, since they contain a lot of minerals, iron and zinc.
The toxin goes away once you roast them for a few minutes in the pan. And this also really brings out their flavor! So collect some beech-nuts and take them home with you. Once you roasted them you can use them as snacks or for a nice Autumnal salad.
What is your favorite fruit or nut growing in the forest? How do you eat or cook it?
Leave your answer in the comments below.
Sources for this article:
This Article of German nature conservation organization Nabu as well as what my dad told me.