Eating acorns is a hot topic these days as I’ve gotten several questions about it. If you haven’t read it, check out this page for a great essay written by my friend Dan Fisher. He explains how he does it, and i chime it at the end with a short blurb.
To answer some recently-posed questions:
1. With regards to how long to boil the acorns, (or how much tannin you need to leach out), let your taste buds be the judge. This goes for whether you need to boil different species of oaks as well. To test them, do the pucker test. Try a small piece of the nut. If it tastes good, you’re done. If your facial expression looks like you just bit into a raw lemon (ie. puckered), you have to leach out more tannins.
2. You can crack the shells with anything handy. A rock works just fine.
3. If making flour, you can grind the nuts with a mortar and pestle, coffee grinder, or any other appliance you’ve got. I like it when there are lumps of acorn mixed in with the meal, so I don’t worry if it’s not evenly ground.
4. If you’re boiling the nuts, don’t worry too much about worms. The boiling water will kill (cook?) them, and they probably add a bunch of protien to the finished product. The nut meats don’t have to look perfect like they would if you were eating them by hand such as you do with peanuts.