Dozens over dozens of postings appear around May and June every year, not because they are necessarily posted at this point but because hundreds over hundreds of individuals may be searching for guidance, as they embark on their first tries at making any of those macerated spirits containing green walnuts. And in all these postings, one strong warning is issued.
I learned of this old green walnuts tradition around 2007. It was a period during which I was passionately looking to understand the process of creating a coffee liqueur. My research led me to green walnuts. But the warning left me cold every single time, and I repeatedly opted for not wearing gloves, as I somehow aimed for a raw experience, and found a level of joy in getting my hands stained in the process, as if handmade equated to hand stained.
Currently in the middle of what might be my fifth yearly attempt at making green walnut wine – known as Ratafia in Spain, Vin de Noix in France, and Nocino in Italy – a question comes to mind for the first time.
It seems to be something in the realm of vanity which generally compels or pushes us to protect our hands from being stained, or even dirty. And yet, one may be vane for reasons of maintaining an air of cleanliness, of purity, of order. On the other hand, can it be that vanity may also arise, not through wishing to display order but rather because vanity may call for proving to oneself (and others) that one works?