species Includes the filbert, beech, oak and chestnut
There are 10 different kinds of beech trees
found in the north temperate zone. The most common is the American Beech
The beech has small triangular seeds which in form and general
appearance resemble overgrown seeds of "buckwheat". Beechnuts
resemble the chestnut. The nuts are difficult to separate from the
shell. That is the reason the beech nut is not commercially harvested.
American beech trees thrive in the valleys
of the Appalachian Mountains and extends from New Jersey to Illionis as far south as
Florida to Texas. The trees thrive in cool climates at high elevations and tolerate shade.
Beechnuts are triangular in shape and are born in
small burrs. These burrs are shed in late summer. The nuts fall to the ground over a
period of several weeks and they deteriorate within two weeks unless harvested and dried.
The kernels are inside the shells and constitute 46% by weight of the nut. As you can see,
over half the nut is shell.
American grown beechnuts are seldom collected for
food because of their small size, their poor development to a mature nut in the shell
(partial voids), and the difficulty of harvesting in such a short period of time.
There is a Black Beech grown in Kentucky that has
nuts that are black and about twice the size of the ordinary beechnut. When these are oil
roasted or dry roasted, the nuts have an excellent quality and there are many ways to eat
More common us of the beechnut is the gathering
and the extraction of oil from them by a pressing process. Beechnut oil is used in cooking
and also as a salad oil. Sometimes it is used as a butter substitute. This is more common
Mostly, however, the beechnut of America is grown
for the beauty of the tree and for the abundant supply of the nut for wild animals.
European beech, used as an oil source
and is also edible.
Nothofagus or Hortus
There are about 40 species of deciduous or evergreen beechlike
trees and shrubs, native to temperate South America, New Zealand, Tasmania, southeast
Australia, New Caldonia and New Guinea.
A few have been cultivated and grown in trial patches in coastal
areas of California.
Six species have been introduced into European gardens and
have proved fairly hardy in southern England and Ireland. desirable.
The Lithocarpus corneus
A more common name is the "edible acorn".
The evergreen plant originates in China and is closely related to the oak. The
nuts are as thick-walled as the hickory nut.
The kernels are white and the shape of a long flat acorn. They have a very
sweet, agreeable flavor. In China they are sold in local markets just like we
sell roasted chestnuts in the United States. In China they boil and/or roast this
There are over 300 species of the Lithocarpus tree found primarily in eastern and southern
Asia and Malaysia.
2-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup water
1 cup light cream
1 cup butter 2 sticks)
3 squares unsweetened chocolate
1-1/2 oz piece parafin cut into small pieces (1-1/2" squares)
Combine all ingredients into a 4 quart heavy saucepan. Stir and cook
over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and butter and parafin are melted. reduce
heat to low, stir occasionally, until mixture reaches 240 degrees. (about 40 minutes)
Continue stirring continuously and vigorously to prevent scorching, to a
firm ball stage. (248 degrees). (another 20 minutes)
Remove from heat and pour into a lightly buttered 9" square pan.
When candy gets firm, mark into 3/4" strips with a knife. When candy is
cool and firm (about 3 hours) cut into strips, remove strips from pan, and cut into
squares. wrap individually with waxed paper. Makes about 120 caramels or 2-1/2
Caramel and Butterscotch are made in
similar ways to toffee, as is fudge. The difference is in the degree of boiling
temperature and the ways in which they are cooled. This whole process uses high-heat to
convert sugar. Crystallization, graininess, and whether it is brittle or smooth are simply
variations of this process.
The Nut Factory started in 1952 as a roaster of peanuts. We are located in Spokane,
Washington. Over the years The Nut Factory has grown into a large snack food manufacturer.
We ship over 400 product every day to businesses everywhere throughout the United States.