Walnuts can stain your hands for a very long time
I am currently in England, and it turns out that a long hot summer has created the ideal environment for amateur foraging. Since being here I've eaten plums, blackberries, apples, plums, and damsons, all plucked from the abundant countryside. It all feels too easy. English people seem to have forgotten that you can eat this stuff, so even when walking on the busiest footpaths one can still gather pounds of free fruit. This is very different to Berlin where there is such a strongly ingrained culture of foraging that finding a single blackberry is a great success.
But enough about blackberries. I want to warn you about something. When walking in the countryside, my stepmother saw a Walnut tree and decided to pick one of the fruits and extract a nut. We weren't entirely sure when the nuts would be ripe enough to eat, or if that even is possible in England. She picked a fruit and then started trying to dig into it. Some juice sprayed out of it but we didn't think much of it. It turned out to take a lot of effort to remove all the flesh surrounding the nut, by which time her hands were covered in the juice. Which was turning a dark yellow colour. We continued with the walk, upon getting home she washed her hands - and noticed that the dark yellow colour could not be washed away.
We then realised that
- Walnut was traditionally used to dye fabrics
- Walnut is incredibly hard to wash off, and was once used to stain the hands of criminals.
Eat the fruit, be careful with the walnuts
If you live in England, consider picking more blackberries.
If you want to pick walnuts and don't want your hands to look dirty for weeks (months?), wear gloves.
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