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in search of ginko nuts

  • k

Hello all,

Does anyone know where I might be able to find fresh ginko nuts in the Peninsula? I've tried 99Ranch in Foster City, but only found them canned. I suppose I could find some in Oakland or SF Chinatown, but I'm hoping for something closer to home.


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  1. I usually see them at Nijiya Market in Mountain View during autumn. Not sure if they'd still be available, though.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sairuh

      There were some there on Monday.

    2. I've seen them at 99 Ranch sealed in heavy plastic. Perhaps in the Asian Spice aisle.

      1. I'm also interested in knowing, except I want ginko nuts not made in China...

        6 Replies
        1. re: K K

          I thought ginko nuts were a natural product as in ginko nuts are born not made.

          1. re: wolfe

            Ginkgo trees are abundant in the bay area, most of them are male. Only female trees have seeds. (nuts?) They're considered pesty because of the smell. I only know of one female tree in a Los Altos Hills sidewalk that you can harvest, may be others have sharper eyes.

            1. re: intomeat

              There is one next to the Solano Safeway in Albany. It's finished, now, thank goodness. Really, really awful smelling.

            2. re: wolfe

              Yes, ginko fruit is a natural product but I think what KK is saying that he does not want a product already processed. Ginko "nuts" from China are either canned or packaged "fresh" in refrigerator.

              Fresh are much more full body and have a better texture. I have never been a fan of ginko. I have only used them in Jai for Lunar New Year dish. Thank God it not my year to make it for the family. It is a two day project for soaking and cooking.

              By the way San Jose State had two trees with Ginko fruit but it too late to pick now. The smelly fruit starts to drop in late Oct or Nov. But cleaning them is a not a fun job.

              But fresh should be available in Chinese Herb shops. Not normally in Supermarkets.

              When buying "fresh" I would check to see if they are indeed fresh. Sometime you will dry out old ones. Break on open and you can tell by the juicy flesh and the smell.

            3. re: K K

              I'm not sure if they are from china, but I usually got them from Lion Market @ Milpitas. they are very fresh, because i can smell they are kind of stinky.
              stinky = fresh ginko nuts

              1. re: capriana94555

                also, try to shake the nut, if it sounds "SOLID" inside, it should be good.

            4. There's an herbal shop 2 doors down from 99 Ranch in Cupertino that has beautiful, fresh-looking ones for $1.49 pound today.

              1. You can come over to my house in Sunnyvale and pick them every fall. Always fresh, and guaranteed grown in the U.S. of A.

                My wife wants me to cut it down because the fruit smells bad. Someone suggested to put some notices out to see if there are people that are willing to come harvest them in the fall. If interested, please contact me at gundamF91@sbcglobal.net

                1 Reply
                1. re: gundam91

                  To tum lemons into lemonade, perhaps kauz and others can give you a good recipe or two. :=)

                2. HI!

                  Thanks to all the replies (and the offer, gundam91). I did find some "fresh" ones at 99Ranch after all - if wambold and EdwardAdams saw them, I figured I needed to look closer. I found them shelled and vacuum packed in the produce area. And, yes, they were product of China. Not quite what I had in mind (where are the mesh bags of rattling goodness?), but I may have to make do. They seem rather...squishy, though.

                  I've never had them in jai before. That actually sounds good. I was just going to dump them into a big pot of jook. Add some pork bones, peanuts, and dried tofu sheets and voila! One of the comfort foods I can imagine.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: kauz

                    Squishy? I'd taste them first.

                    After finding some fresh ginko nuts at Berkeley Bowl a while back, I got into a discussion about ginko nuts on the general board

                    I tried the vacuum packed, but they were more like garbanzo beans and not squishy.

                  2. There are a couple of female trees in Berkeley on the north side of Hearst around Milvia.

                    I walked by there quite a few times during the fall and saw many nuts hanging on the trees. I don't know if anyone harvests them.