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The Wonderful Walnut

It's approaching the end of the season for walnuts here in Bulgaria! And as the leaves are falling, so are these great tasty nuts. So for those of you who fancy putting a little work into picking them can collect the treat when out and about. It can be surprising how many walnuts you can pick for free in Bulgaria.

 

Walnut trees are common to see both in gardens and along the roadsides - so take advantage of the fell-from-the-tree walnuts which are both, as I mentioned, tasty and priceless.

Walnuts are full of goodness and have a surprising amount of health benefits. A daily handful will give you your recommended amount of minerals, protein and vitamins that you require. They are, in addition, a rich source of energy and a good source of omega 3 essential fatty acid. In ancient times it was believed to represent intellectuality as the shape of the nut resembles the brain!

Picked fresh they are delicious simply on their own, or they can be added to numerous sweet desserts and recipes. Try them added to Bulgarian yoghurt and Bulgarian honey, or as a savoury risotto filling for stuffed peppers with feta and rice.

Facts
• In Bulgaria the trees can grow so big they actually become a nuisance for some houses as the roots can cause damage both under and around the house. However in certain circumstances, if they are causing much destruction you can request permission from the local mayor to have the tree cut back or removed.
• People who have renovated old houses have often found masses of empty walnut shells in roofs tops. This is a sign that a pine martin will have been here, it will have done so by removing roof tiles to escape bad weather and eating the nuts in a dry environment! 
• There are frequently people that drive throughout villages asking, via a speaker for walnuts, and they will pay a small fee to buy them from you and resell on markets in nearby towns. So if you are fortunate to have this type of tree near to you and have too many, why not sell them on.