The Historical & Cultural Significance of Oaks & Their Edible Fruit, the Acorn

There are not many places around the world where oak trees haven’t left their mark. The giant oaks were so stout and the wood so long-lasting, many an ancient habitation was built using oak stumps for a foundation, some reportedly still standing hundreds of years later. The Greeks and the Romans both chose the oak to build their homes, ships and bridges. The Vikings used the oak heartwood to build their long ships and later the English used it to build their legendary fleet of war ships. An old Encyclopedia Britannica from 1884 stated that, “the church till recently standing at Greenstead in Essex, and supposed to have been erected in the 10th century was wholly formed of oak trunks roughly squared.”

The fruit of the oak, the acorn, was also prized by the ancients. The oak was, and still is sacred to the Druids of Northern Britain and it is easy to understand why.  Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here:–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973


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