The buckeye nut can only be eaten if it is removed from the shell and roasted. The nut cannot be consumed raw, since it contains tannic acid and other chemicals that are mildly poisonous to humans and animals.
Native Americans roasted the nut and peeled away the shell to make a food called "hetuck." The nut can also be cooked, beaten into a paste and used as a supplement to treat arthritis.
The buckeye nut is produced by the Ohio buckeye tree, namesake of the Ohio State Buckeyes. The nut is named for its appearance, which is similar to that of the eye of a deer.