Black Walnuts on the Menu at White House Dinner
American Black Walnuts recently answered the call to serve their country by being served at the White House State Dinner honoring President Hu Jintao of China. The Chinese delegation requested a ‘quintessentially American’ menu of native fare. The beginning course was a D’Anjou Pear Salad, featured Black Walnuts, Farmstead Goat Cheese, Fennel, and White Balsamic.
White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford selected the all-American ingredients based on attributes of “affordability, sustainability, health, and delicious foods,” mirroring the agenda set by First Lady, Michelle Obama.
“The president of China requested a meal that reflects the best America has to offer–and nothing embodies that better than the bold flavor of American Black Walnuts,” commented Brian Hammons, president of Hammons Products Company, the primary source for Black Walnuts.
“There is huge interest in black walnuts in China,” commented another Hammons spokesperson.
If you’ve always wanted to serve a dish that was featured at a White House state dinner, here’s your chance to enjoy what was served at the event. The D’Anjou Pear Salad with Black Walnuts was served as the beginning course to the meal. The recipe has been adjusted to serve four.
Comments on the salad from the Chinese President were unavailable, but word has it that the Salahi’s loved it.
Cooking with Black Walnuts dates back to the earliest days of America when Honey Black Walnut Bread was on the menu for explorers Lewis and Clark. Today, interest in Black Walnuts is growing along with America’s taste for distinctive, full-flavored, natural ingredients that have a regional or heirloom story to tell. Black Walnuts are showing up everywhere from trendy urban menus and bakeries to home-style family gatherings. Unlike regular (English) walnuts, Black Walnuts are a totally wild crop, grown free from orchards and pesticides, and hand-harvested by local residents across the Midwest.