yes they are edible. first you have to get the outter hull off. We dump ours in the gravel drive and after a couple days of driving over them the outside hull gets scraped off. don't try that on blacktop or concrete drives cause they will break into pieces. Also the hulls will stain your hands a dark brown that takes forever to wear off so let them dry before you pick them up. Once they are dry you can break the hard inner shell and pick out the nut meat. They are pretty rich so if you eat a lot at once you will probably get a stomach ache.
Cracking the shells and picking out the nut meat is a good job fof a long winter day. I could never shell them fast enough to get sick eating them. They are better if they have a couple months to dry out or cure. Not sure what you call it, but they can make your mouth a little sore if you eat too many right off the tree. A claw hammer was our nut cracker.
plant breeders have done almost nothing to the black walnut comercial groves are basicly the same as any old native tree. That may change but so far a black walnut is a black walnut. I don't care for them unless baked into brownies muffins or something. they are quite bitter raw to me. worst tasting nut i know. I think they are also the most likely to cause alergic reaction in small children or allergy sensetive types. Also the hardest to get open. you could probably peel the fruits when dry with a cement mixer and some rocks or rubble. You may not want to compost the fruit rubbish as walnut leaves and parts are toxic to many other plants.
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