The most important etiquette rules on how to serve and eat acorns. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest at the dining table.
What acorns etiquette is
Acorns etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve, use, and eat acorns. Such rules help avoid behaviors that may disrespect your hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.
If you are hosting, follow the etiquette to serve acorns to your guests appropriately.
As a guest, respect the etiquette rules to properly eat acorns at the dining table and avoid offending your hosts.
What you should know about acorns
Acorns are tree nuts from oak trees.
Acorns have a non-edible semi-hard shell, brown in color. The shell contains one or two kernels. Raw acorns contain tannins, a component toxic to humans and some animals. Acorns become edible after leaching and removing the tannins.
Etiquette rules to serve and eat acorns
1) How to store acorns
You can store acorns in a dry and cool place, out of the fridge. Keep them in a sealed container or plastic bag, away from direct light and sources of heat. When properly stored, acorns can last up to 6 months.
In the fridge, acorns can last between 6 and 12 months. Store them in a sealed container or plastic bag.
In the freezer, acorns can last for over 12 months.
2) How to clean acorns
You do not need to clean acorns. However, before using them, you must remove the tannins by leaching.
Before using or serving them, check that the kernels haven’t turned rancid. Discard them if you notice mold, a softer texture, or a foul odor.
3) How to prepare & cook with acorns
You can serve acorns whole or use them as an ingredient.
Before using acorns as an ingredient or for seasoning, you should shell them. Soak the shelled acorns in cold or hot water. Wait for the water to turn brown. Then, discard the water and soak the acorns again in clean water. Repeat the soaking process until the water remains clear.
If you plan to serve acorns whole, leach in hot water. Use cold water if you intend to use acorns as an ingredient.
Acorns can be ground into flour to make bread, pastries, pies, and cookies. You can roast acorns for 15 minutes at high heat. Then, you can add them to salads, stews, or pies.
Tree nuts are among the most common allergens. Thus, some guests may avoid acorns in their diets. Before hosting a meal and using acorns as an ingredient, it is considerate to ask your guests whether they have some dietary restrictions.
4) How to serve & present acorns
You can serve whole acorns as a snack or at the end of a meal. Acorns are most appropriate for snacks and informal meals.
Serve whole acorns warm or at room temperature. Serve acorns in a ceramics or glass bowl, or on a plate. Present them with a serving tablespoon or teaspoon.
5) Foods & beverages to pair acorns with
Acorns pair well with sweet aromas, such as chocolate, maple syrup, or vanilla.
You can add them to stews with meat and vegetables.
6) How to eat acorns
Whole acorns are usually served in a bowl with a serving spoon. Use the spoon to put a few acorns on your dish or hand. If a serving spoon is not available, take a few acorns with your fingers.
Eat one acorn at a time. Do not put more than one kernel in your mouth at the same time.
Acorns etiquette: the worst mistakes
The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors.
A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. Read more about the Rude Index and its methodology here.
Avoid the worst acorn etiquette mistakes.
- 10/10. Not leaching acorns before serving.
- 7/10. Eating more than one acorn at a time.
Additional information for properly serving acorns
How many calories per serving?
Counting calories is important to stay healthy and to correctly plan a menu.
Acorns contain about 387 calories per 100 grams (3.5 oz). One kernel contains about 4 calories.
- Woodland Trust: woodlandtrust.org.uk