Question: walnut harvest
Should walnuts be harvested when they are still inside the green husk or wait for it to open? Thanks
Collect nuts: Answer: walnut harvest
As with all fruits, nuts also pass through some maturation stages, to be able to taste them better it is good to collect them when they are ripe, or when the husk becomes dark and tends to break, letting the "bare" nut fall to the ground. In fact, the harvesting takes place just before the walnuts fall, so as to make it easier to clean them, more or less between the end of September and the end of October, depending on the area.
After having collected them, they get rid of the dark husk and leave them for a couple of days to dry in the sun, since the husk tends to keep the nut quite moist. For some preparations, such as the nocino, it is essential instead to collect the walnuts when they are still with husks, then still green and with a turgid appearance. However, fruits with green husks are not yet interesting for consumption as dried fruit, as the kernels are small, with a non-crunchy consistency, and have a slightly tannic and open taste.
Only well-ripened walnuts have swollen, crunchy kernels under the teeth. In many regions of Italy, some unripe walnuts are traditionally harvested, with green husks, to prepare the traditional walnut liqueur called nocino.