Black Walnut Basics

The wild American Black Walnut is native to 32 states and is the official tree nut of Missouri, where the crop is most abundantly found. It is one of the most valuable and fully utilized natural forest trees in the United States. The flavorful nuts contain the highest protein of any other tree nut and are hand-harvested and used as a popular ingredient in both savory and sweet recipes, while the wood is used in crafting furniture and gun stocks. The husks can be used to make dyes, and the shells—the hardest of any tree nut in the world—are used in a wide range of industrial applications.

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The bold, distinctive flavor of wild Black Walnuts has been a staple in American kitchens for generations. This versatile nut adds a rich taste and texture to traditional baked goods, like cakes, cookies and breads and lends its complex flavor to complement a variety of entrees and side dishes. And with it’s heart-healthy and protein-rich characteristics, it’s a great addition to a healthy snack or meal.


The harvesting of Black Walnuts is a Midwestern tradition spanning generations. Today, it involves thousands of people gathering fallen nuts from lawns, fields and pastures every fall. The crop is almost fully collected from the wild and then taken to central hulling stations for gathering and processing.

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