Should I have titled this blog post ‘Don’t believe everything offered by Google’, or ‘Am I suffering from another after-effect of Covid?’
I love the look of chestnuts on their trees.
While I have never eaten one, I’ve been keen to experience what I imagined should be a great sensation. For years I had thought the habit of eating roasted chestnuts, which seems common enough in Great Britain and the USA, must have meant they were ‘good tucker’.
Today, I was gifted two chestnuts. Google instructed me to lay their flat side on the chopping board. This created a first problem in that my chestnuts didn’t have a flat side.
I chose the more curvaceous side and scored a cross – their toughness and mobility in the hand made this very difficult. The instructions were to pass through the outer skin but not into the inner sanctum. I did the best I could.
Into a pan they rolled before entering a preheated oven – at 200 degrees C fan-forced. For 30 minutes the two chestnuts baked. Once out I covered the tin with foil to allow the steam to soften the outer layer so that peeling would be possible.
Then I fought with the chestnuts to try and get the shell and outer coating off. Ridiculously impossible. The result: each nut was pulled into bits.
Using a teaspoon I tried to scoop out the yellow pulpy flesh.
Its texture was that of squashy cardboard – I haven’t eaten cardboard but imagine what it might be like. The chestnut’s lack of flavour may be related to my loss of taste from Covid. For readers who have eaten chestnuts do they have a flavour? How would you describe the flavour?
Perhaps Google didn’t do me any favours with the instructions. Is there a better way? Is it worth my time to try again? If so, what should I do?
Is there any value in eating chestnuts or are they desperation, survival food?
|I have checked their nutritional value – is there sufficient benefit for the effort? Per 100grams: Calories 131|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 1.4 g||2%|
|Saturated fat 0.3 g||1%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg||0%|
|Sodium 27 mg||1%|
|Potassium 715 mg||20%|
|Total Carbohydrate 28gm||9%|
|Protein 2 g||4%|
One of my special memories of my youth in England is chestnut sellers on street corners during the winter, with the smell of roasting nuts. I used to love buying them and eating them hot from the paper bag, peeling them with my fingers. They used big metal drums which were probably heated by wood fires below and I don’t know their method but I’m guessing they were slow cooked.
In winter here, there’s a stall at Salamanca Market and he fires it up early in the morning and doesn’t start to sell until around 10am, so they’re probably also slow cooked. I haven’t purchased from him as I normally do the market early in the morning, before the crowds arrive, and before he’s ready to start selling.
I think I did cook them in England, cutting a cross in the side, but it’s a long time ago and I can’t remember the settings or time. I do remember a lovely, rich, buttery texture and nutty taste. Maybe wait until next winter and find your way to Salamanca Market one Saturday for a more authentic experience.
Thanks for the advice – I will follow up. So much to learn!
Brit here! I have eaten them, although not for many years now. Apart from very occasionally eating them roasted, bought from a street vendor, I have eaten them raw, as ‘windfalls’: I don’t remember preparing them in any way, just pulling at a corner from the ‘peak’ with a knife, then peeling the skin off, which comes away quite easily. The nut has a waxy consistency, and a mild flavour, but enjoyable, in small quantities. I don’t know how similar our varieties are to yours; I’ve heard ours referred to as “Spanish chestnuts”. They also make a good stuffing for roasts. I hope that helps! Cheers, Jon.
Hmmm. That’s all news. I will see if I can get another and simply peel and eat. Thanks – I thought you might be able to add more info. Cheers
Oh dear! What a disappointment.
I can’t offer any advice having never roasted chestnuts, nor eaten them myself.
More learning required.