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Nocino – Part V — 5 Comments

  1. Pingback:Nocino – Part IV | Casks and Quivers

  2. Stumbled upon this post just now, and wonder if you might have an idea about this: I started making a batch of nocino last July, with black walnuts that were *slightly* past their prime — the shells had just started to harden. I could cut through them but it wasn’t as easy as in previous batches I’ve made. Anyway, long story short, after starting the steeping, I stored the stuff away, and then somehow managed to forget all about the batch! Cut to six months later, I move some stuff around and see the jar sitting there. It smelled wonderful, so I figured I’d give it a shot. Strained it, mixed in some simple syrup, and just tasted it — and there is a *very* sharp flavor that almost burns a bit. I’m wondering if (a) it’s likely even safe to drink, (b) what I might be tasting, and (c) if there’s a way to counteract that sharpness… will aging it for a while possibly do the trick? Hoping I didn’t ruin a perfectly good batch 🙁

    • Greetings! I don’t believe that I have anything to tell you that would be authoritative based on my research. Why? Most research related to Nocino is based on Persian/English walnuts (Juglans regia) and my own experience has been exclusively with that variety. Black walnuts (Juglans nigra) differ from Persian walnuts on the amounts of their constituent components. Because of this, it is difficult to compare the two varieties.

      The formal research (as outlined in my posts on this site) involved parameters/variables that are less extreme than those characterizing your batch. So, we don’t have empirical data to help draw conclusions. The longest I’ve ever steeped a batch of Nocino is slightly less than 4 months. The batch turned out fine.

      I could write for hours speculating what might be happening to your batch of Nocino, but I won’t bore you with that! 🙂

      If I were in your position, I would probably stash the batch for another 4-6 months or so and taste it again. If it still had that same flavor, I would seriously consider dumping it. I once made a cordial that contained Angelica Root that was a big hit with my friends. I stashed some away for aging and went back to it about a year later. It had a VERY strange, nasty flavor that I couldn’t identify. I dumped the batch. There are good reasons why we should avoid nasty flavors as they often indicate properties that are not good for us and possibly dangerous.

      • Thanks for the response! That’s more-or-less what I was thinking… see if a long aging period mellows it significantly. Incidentally, spent a bit of time poking around this blog last night. Really interesting stuff, glad I came across it! Cheers.

        • Thanks Dan! I hope you don’t have to ditch the batch. I’d appreciate hearing how some time affects your Nocino. I have a couple of friends who make it with black walnuts and I’m always interested to see the differences between the two varieties. Someday, I may make two batches with the different varieties to track differences over time.

          Dave

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