The fruit of the oak tree. The acorn was highly prized as a food
by the California Indians. Whole villages would turn out to gather
the crop. The acorns would be hulled and mashed in a mortar.
The acorn nut is bitter and contains much tannic acid, which had to be
eliminated before the nut could be eaten. A shallow hole was dug
in clean sand and lined with dough made from acorn meal. Hot water
was poured in, and as it seeped through the dough and sand it carried away
most of the tannic acid. Indians made bread by baking the dough,
or soup by mixing the meal with hot water. Some Indians flavored
their acorn soup with mint leaves.
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