It's usually either a handful of Olives, or some crisps, but at this time of year we eat a few cooked Chestnuts with our regular pre-supper glass of wine. The two go perfectly together.
Having cut a cross into the pointed end of each Chestnut, I boil them for about 15 mins, then, having allowed them to cool a bit, they are eaten with a very light sprinkling of salt.
This year's nuts seem particularly tasty. They have a creamy texture, and a deliciously sweet nutty flavour. I like to think the nuts are of especially good quality this year.
You may not be given the name of the Chestnut variety when you buy yours, but these above are Bouche de Bétizac. A very popular variety, delicious, and one to look-out for.
I'm eating more this year than I usually do; normally a dozen would be the maximum. This year I may quadruple that; they're very good.
You are a man after my own heart Cro. Simple pleasures, and as you say, it's chestnut time of year, and we have restocked the freezer. So many people only roast them, but a little boiling and salt....mmmReplyDelete
Roasting them can burn them, and it also hides any internal 'bad bits'. I prefer to boil, because I can see exactly what's going on inside each nut, I'm not keen on eating worms!Delete
Our chestnut eating is more of a midwinter thing. The come from northern Greece. We usually cook them on top of the wood stove but I may just boil some and eat them your way this yearReplyDelete
I'm very suspicious of Christmas Chestnuts. This is their season, and if kept for any length of time, they go off very quickly. Even after a few days they can start to turn black inside, or have grubs in them. Maybe they are kept in some controlled environment (like Apples), and are brought out as 'fresh'.Delete
Chestnuts are not such a big thing over here, as you will know.ReplyDelete
Only at Christmas. Living in a Chestnut growing area, we always imagine that France is a big producer, but the world's biggest is China, who produce about 1.7 Million tonnes. France produces just 8,000 tonnes. What on earth do they do with them all?Delete
I guess the chestnuts we have here are imported. The trees on the farm used to produce them but they were never properly finished, i.e. flat and empty not round and big. We looked for them this weekend and it was still the same as 60 years ago.Delete
They need to be pukka grafted trees.Delete
They look a lot plumper than the ones available here? How do you prevent the inner brown skin from getting under your fingernails?ReplyDelete
I’m off up to Ludlow market to get some: cobnuts have been very much in evidence, haven’t seen any chestnuts yet!
Our Hazel nuts have been hopeless this year!ReplyDelete
It's strange that there seems to be no large scale commercial production of Chestnuts in the UK. I'd have thought that the climate was perfect; wild ones grow well enough. Maybe you should buy a two acre field, and plant some.
Had a word with the guy in the market selling walnuts and hazelnuts this morning as to whether he would have any chestnuts? ‘Next Thursday!’ I then went on to offend him by asking if they were French! ‘No, from my farm and the variety is from the South of France!’Delete
How interesting. I wonder if they are 'Bouche de Bétizac'? Perhaps you could ask him.Delete
I would be up all night with indigestion if I ate those before bed time. lolReplyDelete
I did have dreadful indigestion quite recently at night.... I hadn't thought it could have been the Chestnuts.Delete
Funny that nuts have a nutty flavour but I am sure it is a good thing.ReplyDelete
I know it sounds a bit odd, but I was thinking more of a Walnut or Hazelnut type of flavour.Delete
I loved the roasted chestnuts sold from a brazier on the street in London in winter! One of my favourite recollection from when I lived there, except for the blackened fingers when you were about to step into Harvey Nichols, haha! I hadn't realise they were out of season and may have been imported. It seemed so English - although I think I remember eating them on the street in Rome as well.ReplyDelete
Italy is a big producer of Chestnuts. If you kept a few nuts from now until Christmas, you'd find that they'd become very dry, blackened, and probably wormy. There must be some method they use to preserve them.Delete
Oh dear. We usually buy chestnuts to roast on the sitting room fire around Christmas time. I never thought about worms! Haven't seen any previously but perhaps we have eaten them without noticing!ReplyDelete
They tend to be very small and white... I hope this helps!Delete
They just always remind me of Christmas .... to be eaten in cold weather from the man on Oxford Street. ( and with Brussels sprouts) . As children, we used to roast them on the coal shovel, over the fire ( that sounded like something out of Dickens ! ) XXXXReplyDelete
Not at all; we did exactly the same thing. Now we have a special frying pan with holes in the bottom, although I prefer to boil them. Also, we haven't lit a fire yet.Delete
Did I tell you that I am thinking of starting a hot chestnut stall like Johnny Morris? Didn't I? I thought I did. This being Bath I would never get a licence. Too many H&S and food hygiene regulations. I buy the French ones from supermarkets at Christmas too. Whole and puréed.ReplyDelete
A Toffee Apple stall would be good too; in collaboration with a local dentist maybe.Delete
In Japan they roast them in small carts so fabulous. You also get a small finger pick to crack open the shell.ReplyDelete
I miss that. Never had them boiled they look wonderful.
Boiled is the easy way, and there are no burnt bits. I would eat them any way.Delete