Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

pignut a name applied to certain true nuts, especially one of the hickory nuts; but also to some edible, tuberous roots with a resemblance to nuts (see chufa; jojoba).

In Britain the name is applied to the nutlike tubers on the roots of the N. European herb Conopodium majus. These are about the size of a chestnut and can be peeled and eaten raw, or cooked; but, although many authors refer to schoolchildren eating them, there is little evidence of this now.