Saturday, 11 September 2010

Foraging for cobnuts

The cobnut was used centuries ago by children to play out an early version of 'conkers', the game was called cobnut or cobblenut, and the winning nut "the cob".

There are several country walks that you we can take where we live in Somerset, we are extraordinarily lucky. We can walk through fields, along country paths and take in some wonderful views on skyline walks. Our walks inevitably take us passed several hedgerows and trees bursting with things to pick in September, many of which are edible.
One of things that is prevalent and good to gather on our expeditions at the moment is the cobnut, we discovered a hoard of them on one of our walks when we heard them crunching under our feet. A cobnut is a type of hazelnut and they taste fantastic eaten straight from the shell, roasted, or in cakes and bakes. They are can be found predominantly in Somerset and Kent. Apparently they are also sometimes called filberts – which makes me think that Leicester City’s football ground (my home town), Filbert Street, must have been covered in cobnut trees at some stage in the past. Cobs take their name from the Old English 'cop' which meant head or 'cobbe' which meant any round object. The same descriptive word was also used for the cob loaf (a type of bread).
They are a fantastic little nut! We pick up bags of the nuts on our walks. They are definitely worth the forage. They can be used in the recipes below or just substituted for any hazelnuts in recipes that you might have.

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