I just found out that black walnuts are edible. Black walnut trees* are the US species related to the English or Persian walnut (Juglans regia) that we are used to eating. The black walnut has a large yellow green globe casing that goes black with age. Inside is a nut shell more like a peach stone than a walnut and very hard to crack (which is why I assumed it wasn’t edible).
But thanks to the fantastic Wild Man Steve Brill I now know how to do the black walnut dance (video) and get to the meat inside (hammer or rock required).
Steve Brill is a very funny man, and a very experienced US forager (also famous for being arrested for eating dandelion leaves in New York’s Central Park), two three good reasons to check out his website.
It seems like all the local English walnut trees are well picked over, so I’ll see if I can find some black walnuts as I know there are a few trees around. According to Brill black walnuts are quite a bit stronger than English ones (he mixes the two), so I’m curious to try them out now.
* I think this is Juglans nigra but there are a number of black walnut species.