You've probably heard of the miracle herb, ginkgo biloba, believed to have memory-enhancing powers, but have you heard of ginkgo nuts? In the photo above, camouflaged by the ginkgo leaves are clusters of small round green fruits. Hundreds of these ginkgo trees line the streets of Manhattan, and are probably never given much thought by the millions of people who pass them each day. I certainly never noticed.

What turned my attention to these nuts was seeing them featured on the menu of a very prestigious Manhattan restaurant, Masa. Ginkgo nuts harvested from Central Park? Why couldn't I do that myself? So the hunt was on.

As it turns out ginkgo nuts will not be ripening until late autumn, probably between October and November, when the leaves change colors, and the temperature drops another 50 degrees. And you may be disappointed to know that after doing some research, my idea of harvesting ginkgo nuts has been turned off after learning about the notoriously offensive odor the exterior of these nuts emit when ripe. But don't let my resistence stop you, after all harvest season is just around the corner. And I would love to hear your stories of ginkgo nuts!


Chow and Chatter said...

very will look forward to seeing the responses lol

Jessica Lee Binder said...

Christine, I used to live on the UWS and sometimes you'll see old Chinese grandmas and grandpas picking these ginkgo nuts. Wow does it stink!But, I ate roasted gingko nuts at a Japanese yakitori place and they were good.