Carya: heavy load

In the kitchen last night, I was dousing a couple of chicken breasts with one of those commercial sauces ostensibly imbued with hickory smoke, and I got to wondering: how much hickory wood goes to make stuff — tool handles, flooring, sporting goods — and how much ends up in the barbecue pit?

I subsequently expended much of my vaunted GoogleFu trying to get something resembling an answer, but couldn’t come up with anything much more than this:

Carya tomentosa (Mockernut hickory, mockernut, white hickory, whiteheart hickory, hognut, bullnut) is a tree in the Juglandaceae or Walnut family. It is the most abundant of the hickories. It is long lived, sometimes reaching the age of 500 years. A high percentage of the wood is used for products where strength, hardness, and flexibility are needed. It makes an excellent fuelwood, too.

This suggests that furniture outweighs flavoring in the current scheme of things, which is fine with me. I didn’t follow up on the nuts, but I figure sooner or later some wise guy will want them ground up and blended into a cocktail: it’s a hickory daiquiri, Doc.


  1. GradualDazzle »

    22 August 2010 · 12:48 pm


  2. CGHill »

    22 August 2010 · 12:49 pm

    No, no. A palm is a wholly different sort of tree.

  3. Opining Online ยป A Must Read »

    22 August 2010 · 2:53 pm

    […] Just read it, OK? It’s short and you’ll thank me. Maybe. […]

  4. Donna B. »

    22 August 2010 · 2:54 pm

    You are warped in the best possible way.

  5. fillyjonk »

    22 August 2010 · 3:00 pm

    Supposedly it is also possible to distill a sort of salt from hickory twigs.

    Unless Jean George lied to me in “My Side of the Mountain.” (One of the important books of my childhood: I wanted to be like Sam, but was never quite brave/foolhardy enough to run away and try to live in the woods)

  6. Tatyana »

    22 August 2010 · 3:00 pm

    Palms again!

  7. Kirk »

    23 August 2010 · 7:55 am

    I think there’s a mouse in your clock!

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