Acorns are poisonous to humans

Eating acorns: the secret of the preparation

We are happy to bring acorns home from autumn walks. But can the finds be turned into tasty food? We'll tell you how and when to eat acorns

Eat acorns? They're poisonous, aren't they?

In autumn, the deciduous trees not only throw colorful leaves at our feet - we also encounter acorns on a Sunday walk in the forest. The nuts are perfect for handicrafts or decorating - and they look good on the plate under certain conditions!

Those who wanted to nibble curiously on acorns as a child often had to listen to their parents: "For heaven's sake, hands off. Acorns are poisonous!" That is not entirely wrong - after all, the raw nuts contain a high proportion of tannins, which can lead to severe gastrointestinal complaints in humans.

If you ask your grandparents, however, they will answer in amazement: "Of course acorns are edible!" Acorn bread and decaffeinated coffee substitutes made from acorns were common foods, especially in the post-war period. The question arises: How can that be?

Acorns are edible!

In fact, acorns can be eaten even though they are incompatible when raw. The secret lies in the preparation, the methods of which have been increasingly forgotten over time.

In order to make acorns edible, the toxic tannins have to be washed out. To do this, the collected acorns are left to dry for two days, the shell of the nut fruits is cracked and the kernel and the brown seed skin are removed.

After that, the acorns need to be watered for several days. To do this, the acorns are crushed, for example with a mortar, and then placed in a bowl of water for two to three days. The water should be changed every twelve hours. The tannins are now dissolved in the water, which can be recognized by the brownish discoloration of the liquid.

If the water remains clear at the end of the day, the tannins are completely washed out. Now the acorns can be taken out of the water, dried and processed further.