You know, you're supposed to roast them on an open fire. It's the law.
Lucky you OP. My heated chestnuts consist of Michael lowering himself onto my breasts.
The sweetest AND the most radioactive!
r4 Stay away from Brazil nuts too. American chestnuts, were there enough to be commercially viable, would put the Asian varieties to shame. The chestnut blight, decades ago, put an end to almost all the American chestnuts. Plant experts are attempting to bring back the American chestnut, by cross-breeding them with the more vigorous Asian types, that resist the blight, then back-breeding out as many of the Asian characteristics as possible. Pilot programs across the country have been moderately successful, on a very small scale. Perhaps one day they will return to their former glory and popularity.
I find Italian chestnuts to be the creamiest and sweetest.
Yes, but what about the 1950's banana blight, R5? Not only are the weird bananas you youngin's eat now going to die out in the next invasion, they're nothing like the delicious ones I ate as a kid. Blight...what a blight it is.
r14 This is what can happen when biodiversity is ignored.
I thought the best chestnuts came from Italy, no?
R14, that's why we've been trained to confuse the taste of banana with vanilla - which is not vanilla, but a flavor that comes from beaver anuses.
r16 I believe Italy is one of the few countries that even bothers to grow chestnuts commercially, in quantities sufficient for export. I always found their taste to be bland, and the quality substandard.
We just tried roasting some chestnuts for 30 minutes at 350 degrees and they were all either burned or hard as rocks. In the trash.
What did we do wrong?
Did you score them with a knife, r19?
If you buy fresh chestnuts, float them in a bowl of water. Whichever ones float, discard(they've either been attacked by a fungus or riddled with insects) Cut an X in the flat side of the nut with a sharp knife, this allows expansion during cooking, and easier shelling afterwards. 10-15 minutes would probably have done it, and you have to shake the roasting pan occasionally. Once the X opens up, they're usually done. You can also simmer the X'ed nuts in a pot of water and milk, 50/50, until soft, again, maybe 10-15 minutes. Here's a tip though, you can find wonderfully prepared chestnuts, already cooked, in jars or vacuum pouches, around this time of year. They're all perfect, no fuss, no muss.
I once had a parrot named Chet that would sing Christmas songs but to get him to sing you had to light a match. If you held under his right foot he would sing jingle bells and if you held the match under his left foot he would sing Silent Night, but if you held the match between his two feet he would sing, Chet's nuts roasting on an open fire.
thank you; yes we scored them before hand but it sounds like we left them in too long.
"Here's a tip though, you can find wonderfully prepared chestnuts, already cooked, in jars or vacuum pouches, around this time of year. They're all perfect, no fuss, no muss."
And no fun and no taste and no glorious Autumn aroma as they bake.
By the way, cut the chestnuts with an x, boil them and THEN put them in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
My mother would make Chestnut stuffing for Thanksgiving, it is delicious. I have made it a couple of times but way too much effort.
do they taste similar to any other nut?
pecans, for example?
I'll die before I stay away from Brazil nuts.
[quote] do they taste similar to any other nut?
No chestnuts have a very unique taste, before roasting they are bitter and hard, after roasting they are sweet and soft.
Never forget when I was a kid, I was at Broadway show and towards the end of it I started smelling something like the place was on fire. It was winter and it turned out street vendors would park in front of shows to get the exiting customers. There was a Chestnut cart out front and it smelled rank, you could smell inside. How anyone could think that smells good is beyond me.
a soft nut?
[quote] Never forget when I was a kid, I was at Broadway show and towards the end of it I started smelling something like the place was on fire. It was winter and it turned out street vendors would park in front of shows to get the exiting customers. There was a Chestnut cart out front and it smelled rank, you could smell inside. How anyone could think that smells good is beyond me.
You should taste the horrible things. Everybody buys them throws them in the trash after one taste.
I prefer Chinnuts
r26 There's nothing I can compare them to in flavor or texture. When cooked they're medium-soft, sweet and a bit floury/starchy.
r27 You may die if you continue eating them. Barring Brazil nuts radioactivity, they are dangerously high in selenium, no food approaches this level.
If the chestnuts were burnt, then indeed they are nasty tasting, as would any food cooked too long and at too high a temperature.
I believe the popularity of chestnuts is indeed a holdover from the olden days, when their availability was higher, the taste was better,and the price was low, or no cost at all if you gathered your own nuts. You could get quite a haul of chestnuts from just one tree. Gone are the days.....
[quote][R27] You may die if you continue eating them. Barring Brazil nuts radioactivity, they are dangerously high in selenium, no food approaches this level.
Well, I'll die happy and full of nuts!
My grandfather, who was from Brazil, ate castanhas-do-Para (or Brazil nuts) his whole life, and died at the age of 96.
Eat you nuts, r34.
Ordering several pounds now from Oregon!
I used to be able to name every nut that there was. And it used to drive my mother crazy, because she used to say, "Harlan Pepper, if you don't stop naming nuts," and the joke was that we lived in Pine Nut, and I think that's what put it in my mind at that point. So she would hear me in the other room, and she'd just start yelling. I'd say, "Peanut. Hazelnut. Cashew nut. Macadamia nut." That was the one that would send her into going crazy. She'd say, "Would you stop naming nuts!" And Hubert used to be able to make the sound, he couldn't talk, but he'd go "rrrawr rrawr" and that sounded like Macadamia nut. Pine nut, which is a nut, but it's also the name of a town. Pistachio nut. Red pistachio nut. Natural, all natural white pistachio nut.
Hay! I guess I have a chestnut tree in my yard. I didn't know what they were. I guess I should go gather some up.
Whoa, R38 - you have some and didn't know it? Enjoy 'em!
r38 They're probably Horse Chestnuts(Aesculus Hippocastanum). If so, they are ornamental trees that produce conical trusses of white or red or pink flowers and similarly shaped, but inedible, nuts. They ARE used in folk medicine though, to treat varicose veins.
Whole Foods in Westwood had chestnuts from Italy - tiny, nasty looking things, like hazelnuts. WTF. I just ordered 20+ pounds from Oregon.
r41, what are you going to do with 20 pounds of them?
I'm going to put some in the fridge and eat them through the winter!
Chestnuts have a flavor most similar to White Jersey Sweet Potatoes. White Jersey Sweet Potatoes are hard to find, and are prone to fungus attack if they sit in the store too long, but are real potatoes, starchy, dense, dry and sticky sweet as opposed to what is commonly referred to as sweet potatoes, the watery orange yam, which is a totally different plant.
I substitute pureed white jersey sweet potatoes for pureed chestnuts in a cream soup with a pork wonton and the taste is almost identical.