Home » General » Fruit for Thought: The Gingko

Gingko fruit, they smell so bad but taste so good.

We all have seen Gingko trees with the beautiful fan-shaped leaves and yellowish to red fruit that smells really bad. The female members of these trees produce an edible nut but the fragrance from fruit enclosing the nut deters most people from trying them. Once the fruit is removed you will find a nut that looks like a closed pistachio. Beneath the shell is a glossy kernel that ranges from golden amber to bright jade in color.

To prepare gingko nuts you can choose from two different methods. One method is use a small saucepan with enough water so that there is an inch of water above the nuts, add a tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil for ten minutes. Drain nuts and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Place a nut on a cutting board and then with the flat side of a chef’s knife, thwack them like you would thwack a clove of garlic. Remove the shell and peel off the paper-like outer skin.
The second method is to roast them in a frying pan. Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil, nuts, and a teaspoon of salt. Cook over medium-high heat until the shells split. Remove from heat and let cool enough to handle. Remove the shells and the paper-like outer skin.

Be aware: Children should not eat more than five ginkgo nuts per day, and adults should not eat more than eight per day. Going over these limits can result in ginkgo poisoning. People who are allergic to mangoes and cashews should not eat ginkgo nuts. Should you decide to harvest your own ginkgo nuts, wear gloves. The ginkgo fruits contain the same plant chemicals found in poison ivy, so the fruit pulp and juice can irritate skin and mucous membranes. Do not eat the ginkgo fruits. Do not eat raw ginkgo nuts.

By: Bryant Smith