Last winter our friend, Grzegorz, stopped by and sampled my wisniowka (as he called it), a homemade cherry liqueur. I think he was impressed not only by the drink, but by the fact that an American was taking part in this popular Polish pastime of making liqueurs.
He said that I must try making orzechowka, a green walnut liqueur. He was so keen on the idea that he phoned his mother to get his aunt’s recipe. I jotted it down in my iPad notes with a reminder to get in touch with Greg next May. He promised to bring me a bag of green walnuts from his aunt’s tree.
|Greg’s family recipe, Day 1|
|Two weeks in brine for vinegar based options|
It’s been a mild summer, so it was late June before Greg popped round with the green walnuts, which look more like a lime than what you’re used to seeing in the nut bowl at Christmas.
I’ve followed the directions to start a batch of the Polish family recipe. Rather than make a huge batch of this liqueur, because we’re moving back to the states in 6 months, I decided to search the Internet to what else people do with green walnuts.
I have small batches of several recipes going thanks to Agrarinista. I’m trying an Italian green walnut liqueur as well as the Polish version. The main difference seems to be that the Italian version will include spices. The walnuts that are in the brine will go on to become green walnut ketchup, green walnut chutney, and pickled green walnuts.
I’ll do separate posts as we finish and sample everything, but I wanted to mention this now, in case you have a source of green walnuts but aren’t sure what to do with them.
An accountant by trade and a food blogger since 2009, Lois Britton fell in love with Polish cuisine during the years she lived in Poznań, Poland. As the creator of PolishHousewife.com, she loves connecting readers with traditional Polish recipes. Lois has a graduate certificate in Food Writing and Photography from the University of South Florida. She is the author of The Polish Housewife Cookbook, available on Amazon and on her website.
I’m eager to hear how these turn out.
This is wonderful! I have never seen a fresh walnut before, and they look like small unripe mangoes! How nice that your friend’s aunt has a walnut tree! And have never heard of walnut liquer before, thanks for sharing! Learnt something new today! Have a great week!
evil cake lady
So fascinating! Growing up, there was a large walnut tree in my neighbor’s front yard that overhung into ours. The squirrels loved that tree. Sadly none of the people on our street ever harvested the nuts–too bad we didn’t have any green walnut recipes! They just got run over by the cars going down the street.