페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub
[graphic][subsumed][merged small]

JOHN CRERAF LIBRARY

Fagus Americana:
Edible portion,.
As purchased,.
Fagus sylvestris:
Edible portion,.
As purchased,.

Beechnuts.-The beech tree is a very common forest tree throughout the northern part of the United States. Formerly immense areas in southern Ohio and Indiana were covered almost exclusively by the beech tree (Fagus americana Sweet). The beechnut is triangular in shape, resembling buckwheat, and formerly was produced in immense quantities over the region mentioned above. In the early days it was the principal food for swine. The hogs which are fattened by eating the beechnut and acorn produce a species of pork of a peculiar and very highly prized flavor. The celebrated hams and bacons of the southern Appalachian ranges were produced from the variety of hogs known as razor-backs fattened on mast, namely, the chestnut, beechnut, and acorn. The beechnut is also one of the principal winter foods of the squirrel and other animals which store their food for winter use. In the cutting of the forests in the winter often large stores of beechnuts are found stored away by squirrels and birds. The beechnut is not very abundant upon the markets of the country, but is eaten very largely by those who live in the vicinity of beech woods.

Composition of the Beechnut.

BRAZIL-NUT.

Edible portion,.
As purchased,.

[blocks in formation]

REFUSE. WATER. PROTEIN. FAT.

Brazil-nut (Bertholletia excelsa Humb. and Bonpl.).-Large quantities of this nut are imported into the United States from Brazil and form an important article of food in many localities. This nut is not grown in the United States. It is also known as cream nut. The nut is triangular in shape and has a dark brown rough exterior. The kernel is highly flavored and quite oily. The tree is so sensitive to the cold that it will not grow successfully even in southern Florida, although many attempts have been made to introduce it into that locality.

Composition of the Brazil-nut.-Edible portion, 50.4; refuse, 49.6.

Percent. Percent. Percent. Percent.
5.3
2.7

49.6

17.0 66.8
33.6

415

Percent. Per pound 3.5 3,263 1,932

2.I

3.9

2.6

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Butternut (Juglans cinerea L.).-The butternut is another variety of walnut which grows very extensively in the United States and has the same geographical distribution as the walnut, except that the butternut is not so common west of the Mississippi. The tree does not grow so large as the walnut tree, nor is its wood so highly valued for commercial purposes. While the walnut is a round nut the butternut is very much elongated, forming an ovalshaped nut which is very highly valued as a food. The coloring matter of the butternut is practically the same as that of the walnut. The butternut also has a fleshy outer covering not so thick as that of the walnut and which is removed in the same way in the harvesting.

Composition of the Dry Butternut.—

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

The Chestnut (Castanea dentata (Marsh.) Bork).-The chestnut tree grows in great abundance wild in the United States, especially in the eastern portion on the foothills of the Alleghanies. In some localities it originally ored vast forests. The value of the timber and the fact that the chestnut grows only on good soil were prominent factors in the destruction of many of the original forests, especially those covering the arable lands. The trees still grow in great abundance, especially in the hilly regions.

In

In France the chestnut is very widely grown, and the nut is used very extensively as food by the poor classes. The nuts are often dried and ground to a flour which is mixed with water and baked in thin sheets, forming a very heavy but a sweet and nutritious cake. The chestnut is used in the preparation of many dishes, prized even by those in easy circumstances. Italy the chestnut is also widely cultivated, and the nut is ground to form a kind of porridge known as polenta which is very extensively used as food. In the Apennines a cake made of chestnut flour and baked on hot stones is used under the name of necci. In Corea the chestnut is said to be a very extensive article of food, taking the place of the potato. It is eaten raw, boiled, roasted, or cooked with meats. The chestnut differs from the oily nuts in the smaller proportion of fat and the very much larger proportion of sugar and starch,—in fact, starch is almost missing in some of the oily nuts, the carbohydrates present in the very oily being chiefly sugars. In the chestnut the starch is more abundant than the sugar, and for this reason the chestnut meal is more like the meal of the ordinary cereal than that of the oily seeds. The chestnut, also, as it is gathered fresh contains a great deal more water than the ordinary fresh seeds, the quantity ranging from 40 to 50 percent.

417

The average composition of the fresh chestnut, edible portion, is represented by the following data:

Water,..
Protein,..

Fat,..

Starch and sugar,.

Ash,.....

Water,.

Protein,.

Fat,..

Sugar and starch,.

Ash,....

CHINESE NUT.

-42.7 percent

66

Water,..
Protein,.
Fat,.....

Starch and sugar,

6.5

6.3

.43.1

1.4

The dried chestnuts, that is, those which have been kept for several months or which have been artificially dried, have a composition represented by the following data:

Ash,....

Calories per pound,.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

The average weight of the hull of the chestnut is 15.9 percent of the total weight of the fresh nut, and 23.4 percent of the average weight of the dried nut. The above data are confirmatory of the statement that the meal of the chestnut in its composition is very much like that of the oily cereals, for instance, of Indian corn meal or oats. It, however, contains more oil and less protein than the cereals referred to. It is readily seen from the above data that chestnut meal may not properly take the place of Indian corn as human food. The nut of the chestnut tree ripens at the time of frost.

The wild chestnut shrub, which springs up in great numbers where the the original trees are cut away, is now extensively grafted with cultivated varieties. In Pennsylvania there are large orchards of the Paragon chestnut which have been grown in this manner.

2.9

.2

Chinese Nut (Nephelium litchi Cambess.).-This is not a true nut in the ordinary sense of the word, but is usually classed with nuts. It is a product of China and is imported into the United States for consumption by our Chinese population. In the fresh state in China it has the reputation of being one of the best fruit products of that country, having flesh of a white color and a flavor resembling that of high-grade grapes. 41.6 percent of the fresh nut is refuse matter. The edible portion has the following composition:

-77.5 1.5

1,453

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

..17.9 percent

66

66
66

[ocr errors]

The above data show that in chemical composition the Chinese nut does not belong to the class of nuts at all. It is a fruit, its nutritive material being almost exclusively carbohydrates, while in the true nut the principal nutritive substances are the protein and the oil.

« 이전계속 »