The Walnut tree (Juglans regia) is a large deciduous tree, unfortunately they take a long time to crop - 10 years or so, although grafted versions can to do it in 4-5 years. This probably accounts for why there are so few commercial orchards throughout Britain today, only about 200 acres. However, Pickled Walnuts are a quintessentially English pickle – world renowned as an English delicacy and have even been mentioned by Charles Dickens in his book The Pickwick Papers and by Evelyn Waugh in Brideshead Revisited.
Our farmers harvest the walnuts in June before the shell forms so they are still green, which also means they can save some before the squirrels tuck in. We cook and marinate them in a traditional spiced malt vinegar recipe that transforms them into the lovelies they become. To ensure they are as perfect as can be we then hand pack them into jars. They make a scrummy accompaniment to cheese and cold meats and provide a tasty ingredient when diced or sliced in meat, poultry and game dishes.