One pound of organically grown Fresh Chestnuts from our farm! Get them while you can, because they probably won’t be here after this week! Unlike other nuts, Chestnuts have a high moisture content and require refrigeration if you plan to store them longer than about 2-3 days. (Studies show that when they are spread out into a single layer and left at about 70 degrees for two days they will become even sweeter without drying out. I haven't experimented with that, myself, so I have no clue if it would really work!) For longer storage (they should last at least 2-3 weeks), treat them the same way you would carrots: Keep Chestnuts in your fridge's veggie crisper, in a bag that is perforated or loose enough to allow some air exchange. (As a general rule, if the shell "gives" when you press on it the nut inside is not likely to taste good.) SEE BELOW FOR DIRECTIONS FOR ROASTING THEM!
NOTE: If you want use the Chestnuts to make stuffing or desserts for Thanksgiving, however, your best bet is to go ahead and freeze them. (They can be frozen in-shell, shelled, or pre-roasted and frozen!)
If you’re like I was before I moved here, you’ve probably never even tried Chestnuts. But they’re a lot of fun—-not to mention addictive! (Which is okay, because unlike most nuts they’re extremely low in fat! 😊) They do need to be roasted before snacking on them, but it’s really not a big deal. HERE’S HOW:
- Preheat your oven to 400° (I even do small batches in a toaster over)
- Rinse any dirt off the shells, then spread them out on a baking sheet
- Take a sharp knife and score an “x” into the side of the shell that faces up
- Roast until the triangles formed by the “x” you cut have pulled away from each other and curl up a bit (generally 15-20 minutes)
- Grab a tea cloth or clean dishcloth and spread it out, then remove the pan of roasted chestnuts from the oven and pile the nuts in a mound on the cloth.
- Gather the four sides of the cloth together and twist them together as tightly as you can (you’ll probably hear the nuts crackle as you do do). Leave them twisted up in the cloth for several minutes. (This helps them to hold onto moisture as they cool, which in turn makes peeling easier.)
- Once they’ve cooled, peel back the shells and enjoy the nuts! If you don’t eat them all at once, they can be stored in an airtight container or ziploc bag in the fridge, but they become tougher the longer they’re stored.