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« Zum Gldenen Zopf re-reviewed | Main | Grilled and burnt: IMBB6 »

July 02, 2004



What is the flavor of green walnuts like? Do they taste like nuts?


It's a bit hard to describe. The taste reminds of walnuts but in a more green, unripe way. There's also a definite bitter note. During the alcohol extraction the flavour changes a bit as the unripe flavour/aroma melds with the spices.


Wow, I've never come across Nocino before. (I'm a big fan of Limoncello though.) Is the flavour of the green walnuts more prominent than the spices? It looks to be quite a lot of spices in the jar....


What type of alcohol do you use? I mean, 90%? That's rather on the high end...



While I can't normally take any form of alcoholic beverage, I'm very curious to see how this will turn out. It seems to be quite interesting.

By chance where did you find green walnuts? I've never seen them in the shops here.


Angela: yes, the walnuts have a more prominent taste. The spices, at the end of the extraction and ageing should blend with the walnuts to round up the flavour. Hopefully :-).

redbeard: 80-90% alcohol is not too difficult to find in Italy since people use it to make this kind of liqueurs. Here in Germany it's a bit harder to find (and a lot more expensive) but it's also availeable.

Reid: I picked the walnuts myself off a tree. I've never seen them on sale.


I bought a bottle of Nocino in Modena while on vacation last year. It's a very unique taste.

Would it matter if you used green English walnuts or green black walnuts to make Nocino? Would the taste be different?


Karyn, I think any of the walnuts you mention would be fine as long as they're still green and no sign of the walnut "shell" is visible, if they're too advanced in the ripening they'll taste very bitter. I don't think there would be a big taste difference, maybe only slight ones.


looking for green walnuts in the shell where can i purchase them if i do not have access to a tree?


Melissa, I have no clue how things are in other countries but in Italy you can order green walnuts from your greengrocer in season, i.e. middle June to middle July, given that quite a few people make their own nocino at home.


How did the nocino come out? I had some the other night at an Italian restaurant...brand name was Aggurzzato or some such... it was lovely. Hope yours was too!


su-z-q, you're right! I never wrote a follow up to this. Stay tuned, the conclusion of the nocino story is coming up soon.


any idea where I can buy green walnuts in the US?


At home in Dalmatia my Granny used to make this and she used only walnuts, sugar and grappa. Years later when my Mum tried to make some, she was advised by couple of elderly aunts to put few whole coffee grains (don't ask me why!). She decided to stick to my Granny's recipe and it worked. My Gran also used sour cherries instead of walnuts - I'm sure you've tasted maraschino before! Finally, my best friend uses some rose petals and that works a treat!


Hi lunarossa, the cofegrain addition is intriguing, maybe I'll try that next time. There's quite a number of recipes like the ones you mention, limoncello probably being the most known. All these "rosoli" (the way they're called in Italian) were very popular at the beginning of the XX century but their popularity seemed to go down after that. In the last few years there has been a return to rosoli, mainly because of the interest home cooks are showing in them. Thogh I often find these too sweet for my taste I think it is great thzat people bring those old recipes back to life again.


Did you ever post the results of the nocino you made last year? I'm preparing to make it this week and am curious to see how yours came out.


Tracy, I never got around posting the results of my nocino experiment so I will do so now here. The Nocino was a success and of the two bottles I made, only a couple of ml are left. Everyone who tasted it enjoyed it.

Being the hairsplitting pain that I am, I thing it could have been improved. I found the alcohol content slightly too high, but then also the sugar, so I would slightly reduce both next time. I also think that a wee bit less spices and the additon of the lemon pill I left out are worth a try.


Wow this reminds me of the time I lived in Italy (Gaeta). Our good friends made their own Nocino, after a great feast we would sit down and have drink. Oh the memories!!!


Does it have to stay on sun from dawn to dusk ? I have enough sun on my windowsill up to midday.

By the way, after putting quartered walnuts in alcohol, the concotion got totay black after a bit more than 24 hours. Is it normal ?


Ferania, just keep the alcoholic infusion where it is. I think it is plenty of sun as it is. There's also recipes that will tell you to keep the infusion in the dark at all times, but since I've always seen it done this way (in the sun) I have no reason to test this.

The alcohol will indeed turn deep brown rather quickly.


I have followed the instructions for nocino and, after 40 days,I'm now ready to finish it.What comes next?

shuna fish lydon

I love making Nocino. I have even made it as late as July/August in California. In regards to Barrie, I like to turn mine into ice cream. David Liebovitz, and ex pastry chef at Chez Panisse has a good recipe for a custard like a pot de creme made with Nocino.

Also I have always made mine in a cool dark place, so i don't think it matters much.

Your photos are lovely.

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