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Cheeky Pins????Nuts?

My father is from West Virginia and has been searching high and low for a kind of nut referred to as "cheeky pins" that he used to eat as a kid in the mountains of WV. Do you know the real name for this slang-dubbed "cheeky pins". The only thing I know is that they grew on trees. Good luck and thanks!!!

Steven Graham

After a long awaited answer and many attempts to answer this question here's what we came up with:

Chinkapins, also spelled chinquapins and sometimes called dwarf or bush chestnuts, are shrubs and small trees commonly found throughout the East, South, and Southeast. They are characterized by usually bearing one nut per bur and having burs that open into two halves like a clam shell. Some taxonomists and geneticists have separated the chinkapins into eight or more poorly defined taxa based on growth form, leaf morphology, bur characteristics, habitat, and blight susceptibility (Jaynes 1975; Graves 1950, 1961; Ashe 1923, 1924). These include: Castanea pumila (L.) Mill., C. ozarkensis Ashe, C. ashei (Sudw.) Ashe, C. alnifolia Nutt., C. floridana (Sarg.) Ashe, C. paucispina Ashe, C. arkansana Ashe, and C. alabamensis Ashe. Other taxonomists (Tucker 1975; Johnson 1987, 1988) have reduced most of these taxa to synonymy within C. pumila var. pumila and indicate that the chinkapin is but a single species, C. pumila, comprising two botanical varieties: vars. ozarkensis (Ashe) Tucker and pumila. Only the Allegheny chinkapin, C. pumila var. pumila (Terrell 1977) is discussed in this report.
The Allegheny chinkapin, also called the American, common, or tree chinkapin, may well be our most ignored and undervalued native North American nut tree. It has been widely hailed as a sweet and edible nut; a wood source for fuel, charcoal, fence post and railroad ties; and a coffee and chocolate substitute (Porcher 1970; Gillespie 1959). In addition, the tree's root has folkloric history as an astringent, a tonic, and a febrifuge (Krochmal and Krochmal 1982). However, chinkapin's great potential lies in its value to commercial chestnut breeding programs and as a source of food and cover for wildlife (Halls 1977; Jaynes 1979; Bailey 1960).

Long after this question was posted with an answer we received this email from Joe  with another answer, so you can be the judge of what you think is the right answer:

"Cheeky-Pins",aka"Chinkapin".More than likely the acorn of the Chinquapin Oak(Yellow Oak)Quercus muehlenbergii).This was common in the area and said to be the sweetest of the oak acorns,and can be eaten raw or roasted.

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