The Cottage Smallholder

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Wet walnuts

wet walnutsYears ago I used to visit Partridges, a wonderful delicatessen on Sloane Square. From now, throughout October and sometimes into November, they sold wet walnuts. I discovered this delicacy there.

Wet walnuts are fresh walnuts that have not been dried for keeping. They are crunchy with a milky, mild walnut taste and excellent with a soft cheese, in a salad or a sauce. They are also packed with omega 3, if you need an excuse for rushing out to taste them. You neededn’t point your car in the direction of Partridges if you live in the country. You probably have someone in your circle of friends who has a bountifull walnut tree. I often find walnut saplings in my garden. I don’t nurture them. A walnut tree in your garden tends to result in the squirrels trying to establish a walnut grove on your lawn. Best avoided.

We tried a walnut sauce with pheasant once – made with dried walnuts. It was far too rich. I have discovered that a sauce made with wet walnuts does not have that cloying taste. It is walnutty and fresh. Perfect with game or even pasta. I suddenly twigged that most great walnut sauces are made with wet walnuts.

Last week I was exploring the estate where I am working and spotted these small green fruit in the grass. Curious, I looked up and discovered that I was standing beneath a massive walnut tree. These were the first of the season’s bounty. I peeled off the thick green skin and opened the walnut with my penknife. Walnuts don’t need nut crackers, even dried ones. Put the point of a knife into the rounded end, twist and it should open easily. At this time of year, you will have the two halves of walnut shell filled with the crisp fresh nut resting in your palm.

Today I showed my joiner friend, Hugh, the same tree and the nuts. He has a walnut tree in his garden but the squirrels get all of his before he can even say nut. Consequently, he hadn’t tasted a wet walnut. It was good to make the introductions.

When you have finished snacking don’t discard the shells. They can be made into tiny sailing boats if you have children to amuse. They also make perfect cradles for the dolls house. If you are nifty with a mini drill bit you can make a couple of holes in each half and fashion a simple hinge out of thick button thread – then you will have a romantic receptacle for a teeny present for someone very special.

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  1. 2018 and not so many nuts this year, also very small. The squirrel must have been disappointed! Good to re-read that article again, thank you.

  2. I want to buy, what price and where? are they ripe?
    in Kent (Dartford) address Please

  3. Frank Edwards

    I have any number of wet walnuts, commercial (i.e. grafted) variety called “Parisienne”. In Kent near Ashford and happy to sell wholesale.

    • sue berger

      Hi Frank, Love wet walnuts and they are so hard to find. How much are they and is there a minimum quantity.
      We are thinking of planting some on our allotment communal area. How old where they before fruiting and is it a variety you would recommend. We are 5 miles from the sea on a light soil.

    • I want to buy, what price and where? are they ripe?

  4. Audrey Thames

    Thank you for the interesting write up. I have a walnut tree in my garden and like you said, the squirrels have a great time with the nuts. But I have been harvesting them daily and there is enough for my needs. The tree seems to have done well this year. Have to admit I have never tried them wet! Most of the ones collected are without their green coat now.

  5. Moved house and I can’t find any markets/shops that sell wet walnuts. I’m in Lincolnshire, looking to bulk buy and pay for delivery

    • Wet Walnuts | Potash Farm just fount these ppl on line, I am going to try them!

  6. I am in need of wet walnuts but can’t seem to find them in the north London area now my old deli has closed down. Can anybody help in my nutty quest please?

    • Hi Dan, try Farm Direct, I have just ordered some from there. They deliver all sorts of local seasonal produce around london

      • hi Kate do you mean this Farm Direct? no wet walnuts advertised – maybe too early?

    • St Albans market sells them 🙂

  7. Tim West



  9. I am in need of allot of wet walnuts around 2kg. If anyone has any please email me so we can arrange an oder. These would need to be sent to Cardiff. Thanks!

  10. A Twitchen

    Where can I purchase wet walnuts they are delicious but do not often see them.

    • I have plenty of wet walnuts available at the moment – where are you based A Teitchen?

      • Tim West

        My mum loves them. Do you still have any?


      • hi Jackie do you still sell wet walnuts? I am in London/Exeter

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