Sunday, May 16, 2010
chickypin or chinquapin
Have you ever taste the nuts of a chinquapin? My brother and sisters born after 1950 would not know that the chinquapin trees grew on our land and Richard and me went hunting every fall for the nut of the chinquapin. The nut was encased by a burr and to gain the fruit of this tree you had to be brave. We would roll the burrs around until they made contact with a rock and then pound the burr with another rock. Nothing tastes better than the chinquapin. The following is a piece written by an Ozark native that remembers.
The Ozark Chinquapin nuts were delicious and we waited for them to fall like you would wait on a crop of corn to ripen,….. they were that important. Up on the hilltop the nuts were so plentiful that we scooped them up with flat blade shovels and loaded them into the wagons to be used as livestock feed, to eat for ourselves, and to sell. Deer, bears, turkeys, squirrels, and a variety of other wildlife fattened up on the sweet crop of nuts that fell every year. But, starting in the 1950’s and 60’ all of the trees started dying off. Now they are all gone and no one has heard of them.
The chinquapin trees in the ozarks fell prey to the chestnut blight and the might trees grow no longer on our land.