52 Foods Week Four: Walnuts

I don’t recall precisely when I first had an Italian soda. I know it was in San Francisco, shortly after getting a haircut. I also know I ordered an almond soda, and was intrigued by the oddly labeled syrup: “Orgeat.” I don’t order Italian sodas much these days, but if I did, orgeat would still be my flavor of choice.

Orgeat syrup seems a curious survivor of years past. It was originally made of barley rather than almonds—orge being French for barley—and, according to the Art of Drink, it was often used in place of milk in the days before refrigeration. Today, it is mostly used in the aforementioned Italian sodas and in Mai Tais.

Seeing the many locally grown walnuts, this winter, inspired me to attempt a walnut syrup along the lines of orgeat. Sweet walnut concoctions—like my favorite Baskin Robbins’ flavor, Black Walnut—really do it for me, and the idea of making walnut cocktails really floats my boat. I bought my walnuts at the Davis Farmers’ Market from McDonald Orchards, in the Capay Valley.

I followed the Art of Drink recipe, though I cut the portions in half, and arrived at a very nice walnut orgeat. I have previously made this recipe with almonds, and I feel like the walnut flavor is slightly less powerful than the almond. In the future, I’d like to try this with a greater quantity of walnuts and brown instead of white sugar.

Making orgeat is not terribly exciting visually, but I do have a few shots from the process.

One Comment

  1. mom
    Posted February 3, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    So how did you use this?

2 Trackbacks

  • By 52 Foods Week Twenty Four: Pork Belly on June 18, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    […] I began Fifty Two Foods, there were a few foods I knew I would include. Some of those, such as walnuts, I covered early. Others, like cherries, I needed to wait on until they were in season. This […]

  • By 52 Foods Week Twenty Two: Almonds on April 10, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    […] a year ago, when I made orgeat for the first time, I found myself left with a significant quantity of ground almonds. In the […]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>