Chestnuts and chestnut products have been a mainstay in the diet of many communities in asia and southern Europe since historic times. Wikipedia contains an excellent reference in Chestnuts History on the use chestnuts in the diet over the centuries.
If harvesting your own chestnuts, allow about a week after groundfall before preparing them for eating. This allows them time to “sweeten”. Don’t eat raw chestnuts as the tannic acid is likely to cause indigestion.
When selecting chestnuts, squeeze them to ensure they are hard and do’nt yield to pressure. Avoid chestnuts that have soft skins – they are past their prime.
- Fresh Chestnuts
- Chestnut Meal (Flour)
- Chestnuts in Syrup and Tinned
- Chestnut Liqueur
- Chestnut Roasters
Although the chestnut variety, and climatic conditions, affect the harvesting time, April, May and June are the best months in Australia for fresh chestnuts. Chestnuts require storage in a cool environment as quickly as possible after they fall from the tree.
Chestnuts can be grilled, fried (fritters), boiled or steamed. They can be used in soup, savoury or sweet recipes
The most popular method of consuming chestnuts is to roast them fresh and eat them warm. A simple guide to roasting chestnuts is included on the Chestnut Recipe page of this site.
It has a strong flavour and is used in dishes such as breads, cakes, biscuits, puddings, pastries, pancakes and pasta, rather than as a general flour substitute. Chestnut flour is sometimes combined with other flours and is also used as a thickener for stews, soups and sauces.
Chestnut flour is perishable so store in a dry cool (preferably refrigerator) place and use within a month.
- About the Flour and Process (Chestnutsonline.com – US)
Chestnuts are also available in a range of pastes, purées , spreads and glacés. These can be used in any number of applications.
- Marroni al Liquore (recipe)
Popular means of reliably roasting chestnuts inside with no mess/soot etc.
- Marronimax (Robinsons Chestnuts)