We’ve been watching these little fellas grow outside our kitchen window. It won’t be long before the squirrels find them and make off with their treasure, but for now we’re enjoying their weirdness, and the novelty of seeing them so close to the house.
What are they? They’re cobnuts, a cultivated variety of hazelnuts that grow in the British countryside, particularly in Kent, which is across the river from us.
Cobnuts can be harvested in late summer and are available in local farm shops from late August until mid-October, and we tend to buy them as a treat whenever we see them. They are eaten fresh, rather than dried, and have a nutty-fruity flavor and a softly crunchy texture. Because of their requirement for male/female pollination, they’re not easy to produce on demand, but if the conditions are right, they might just have a happy season all on their own, like this little tree in our garden is having this year.
Our grey squirrels are going to be very happy critters when they find them…