Green Walnut — with San Giovanni, Saint-Jean, and Sant Joan, it is Nocino, Vin de Noix, and Ratafia — in New York it is my way

In New York, New York, just like in Italy, Spain, and France, the twenty-forth of June is upon us. It is the time of the year in which humans interject nature, as they often do.

Throughout the history of mankind, we have been observing our environment, and, in various instances — instead of taking the fruits of nature in their colorful, fleshy, ripe state — ingenuity, or lack of knowledge has allowed us to treat nature’s fruits somewhat unnaturally. Exceptional examples being, among others, our tea, coffee, chocolate, wine, and vanilla.

During the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Signatures of Nature movement (also known as Doctrine of Signatures) was vibrant. Advocates like Jacob Boehme (1575-1624), and Paracelsus (1493-1541) proposed that through texture, color, structure and optic, nature’s offerings clearly tell humans (and possibly other living species) how we may benefit from each. The structural similarity between walnuts and the brain, for example, was understood as nature guiding us towards reasons for eating the walnut.

Most humans eat the kernel of the stone fruit from the walnut tree (Juglans regia Linnaeus), and delight in its mild flavor, considering its nutrients, and freely choosing between the laziness of buying them without shells, or integrating the breaking of the endocarp with a nutcracker into the eating experience. Others use the ‘immature’ green walnut which is harvested before its shell turns hard. This is an old tradition in several parts of the world. The date by which the right picking time is determined is June 24th, in connection with San Giovanni in Italy, Saint-Jean in France, and San Joan in Spain. The maceration of the green walnut is known respectively as nocino, vin de noix, and ratafia. Method and spices used are culturally and regionally determined.

My green walnuts arrived today, and herewith I begin my green walnut process for 2022.

Stay tuned!

The Juglans regia Linnaeus fruit, in its early June state of maturity

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