Do you Chestnut 🌰? (1 Viewer)

RedFrame

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Sweet Chestnut season is here !

I mark the new calendar each year with the 10th October, then wait for the wind to drop them. Been visiting the same 3 trees for the last 50 years.

First forage was two days ago, after a reasonable wind, and this years crop looks promising, good sized, mature nuts that are very sweet!

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Plenty more dangling, just need a real October Storm to release them !

Cheers
Red
 

Mousy

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Loads for sale here in Croatia. I roasted some on the bbq.
May I ask how long you boil them for and what you eat with them? Cheers
 

dryad

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quite a few years now, and loving every minute..
as with anything that is foraged from the wild to eat, correct and certain identification is key to save being poisoned..

to be honest they look very like conkers and those are inedible and toxic for us, so how do you tell the difference RedFrame ?
clearly you know which are the correct trees to harvest from but i'd be a little uncertain if i came across them scattered on the ground..

.roasted chestnuts on a crisp winter evening are a delight, yummy..

.

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Two on Tour

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We visited Sutton Hoo yesterday and the ground from the car park was covered in sweet chestnuts.
I was going to pick some to take home but they were very small.

as with anything that is foraged from the wild to eat, correct and certain identification is key to save being poisoned..

to be honest they look very like conkers and those are inedible and toxic for us, so how do you tell the difference @RedFrame ?
clearly you know which are the correct trees to harvest from but i'd be a little uncertain if i came across them scattered on the ground..

They will more often than not have the husks of the nuts laying about with them and that will identify if they are sweet chestnut or horse chestnut.
The prickly husks are sweet chestnut and the spikey husks are horse chestnut (conkers).

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1666158087678.png
 

dryad

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quite a few years now, and loving every minute..
have just noticed that the sweet chestnuts have a little 'tail' thingy, makes them easier to look out for 'cos conkers are just smooth..

where i am is brilliant for foraging kent cob nuts and hazel nuts, the pavements past the woods have been absolutely 'littered' with them this year, whilst the apples on the trees have been so small, lack of rain this summer obviously..

.
 

Riverbankannie

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Chestnuts - i soak in boiling water for 10 minutes and then shell them, cutting them in half to aid shelling. Then the tedious peeling of the inner skin and putting them in bags in the freezer. My local tree does not produce good enough sized ones to roast.
During the year I use a handful of broken up peeled nuts from the freezer to add to meals for protein. chestnut and parsnip soup is nice too.
I found a new tree when we were in Somerset last week and went to Huntercombe Gardens. However they are small and the inner skin is tightly wrapped in folds of the nut so not so good. I might be missing the best time at home now I am in France. I once brought bag a carrier bag of huge nuts from a French roadside but by the time home, all the caterpillars had hatched! Every nut had some in. I can only surmise the commercial growers spray?
 

Ridgeway

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as with anything that is foraged from the wild to eat, correct and certain identification is key to save being poisoned..

to be honest they look very like conkers and those are inedible and toxic for us, so how do you tell the difference RedFrame ?
clearly you know which are the correct trees to harvest from but i'd be a little uncertain if i came across them scattered on the ground..

.roasted chestnuts on a crisp winter evening are a delight, yummy..

.

When you see edible chesnuts they look very different vs conkers, no mistaking them.
 
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Sweet chestnut trees are scarce in these parts, I only know of one mature tree that I'm guessing is a Spanish Chestnut, but I haven't had a chance to check it out as it's across a farmer's field. The last lot I picked were from a huge tree at the entrance to the Canterbury C&CC site and ended up in our Christmas turkey. 😋
Our village transformed a bit of waste ground into a "copse" planted loads of native hardwoods (too many hazels in my opinion !) hornbeam, rowan and oak and I keep thinking about bringing on some sweet chestnut and planting them in there ?

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ManTheVan

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Those are lovely big nuts! We have lots of trees near us, but the nuts are quite small and not always worth picking up. I adore them though.
 
Feb 16, 2020
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Sweet Chestnut season is here !

I mark the new calendar each year with the 10th October, then wait for the wind to drop them. Been visiting the same 3 trees for the last 50 years.

First forage was two days ago, after a reasonable wind, and this years crop looks promising, good sized, mature nuts that are very sweet!

View attachment 678256

View attachment 678257

Plenty more dangling, just need a real October Storm to release them !

Cheers
Red
Yes, like Brussel sprouts, the best thing is to boil them, then throw them away and eat the saucepan !! :giggle:
I grew up on farms, so we had a glut of whatever was in season for at any given time of year.
Mike.
 
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Love chestnuts always a pleasure to get a few to eat raw, boiled or roasted. The last ones we got from the Sandringham Estate last autumn.

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Steve and Denise

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Love them some years ago we were involved in corporate leisure and used to have a large chestnut roasting setup as part of our themed package, I used to love manning it, from memory we got through about a pallet of imported chestnuts every December, I’ll have a look for a photograph
 
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When you see edible chesnuts they look very different vs conkers, no mistaking them.
Plus you can't string a chestnut to play "conkers"with.
As an aside we were once on a French aire,with chesnut trees trees everywhere, we had to move the van as they were bouncing off the roof. The conkers were enormous, I asked the French guy in charge of the aire if the local children collected them. What for he replied, you can't eat them.o_O
 

Greasy Chap Butty

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as with anything that is foraged from the wild to eat, correct and certain identification is key to save being poisoned..

to be honest they look very like conkers and those are inedible and toxic for us, so how do you tell the difference RedFrame ?
clearly you know which are the correct trees to harvest from but i'd be a little uncertain if i came across them scattered on the ground..

.roasted chestnuts on a crisp winter evening are a delight, yummy..

.
You won't eat conkers by mistake!
Your body has a built in safety mechanism - all your teeth would be broken after the first one, preventing you eating any more ;)
 

Greasy Chap Butty

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What are people's tips for getting the inner skin off?
That's the only downside to these beautiful things.

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Kirsten

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never understood why UK has so many horse chestnut trees [love them yes they are beautiful] and so few Sweet Chestnuts which we can eat for free. Ditto walnut trees- there are many more sweet chestnuts ,walnuts and sometimes apples in Europe - just trees in parks/towns/roadsides with people picking them up for free. Was there some general problem with planting trees with edible and free fruit and nuts in UK in the past ?
 
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never understood why UK has so many horse chestnut trees [love them yes they are beautiful] and so few Sweet Chestnuts which we can eat for free. Ditto walnut trees- there are many more sweet chestnuts ,walnuts and sometimes apples in Europe - just trees in parks/towns/roadsides with people picking them up for free. Was there some general problem with planting trees with edible and free fruit and nuts in UK in the past ?

It's "hazardous" apparently 🤷‍♂️

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-63156505
 

Northernraider

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We visited Sutton Hoo yesterday and the ground from the car park was covered in sweet chestnuts.
I was going to pick some to take home but they were very small.



They will more often than not have the husks of the nuts laying about with them and that will identify if they are sweet chestnut or horse chestnut.
The prickly husks are sweet chestnut and the spikey husks are horse chestnut (conkers).

View attachment 678272

View attachment 678273
I never knew that.


You may well have saved me from stomach ache
 

Northernraider

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Plus you can't string a chestnut to play "conkers"with.
As an aside we were once on a French aire,with chesnut trees trees everywhere, we had to move the van as they were bouncing off the roof. The conkers were enormous, I asked the French guy in charge of the aire if the local children collected them. What for he replied, you can't eat them.o_O
Most schools in Scotland banned conkers about 20 years ago... dangerous apparently😔

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Kirsten

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What !! then why are continental streets not littered with the fallen under aforesaid trees ? Madness ! I realise not all tress will like the seaside air/mountain sides etc but there are places we could have planted viable foraging?
And PS you can use conkers for clothes washing liquid. Cut in half soak in water - soap solution ! Take shells off if using on whites .
 
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Another thing to blame the Romans for, not mentioned in the "Monty Pythons, Life of Brian Film " what did the Romans ever do for us list, "sweet chestnuts".
P.S. The funniest film ever made, IMHO.
Mike.
 
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I'm wishing I had a pet pig, 12 bushels of bl@@dy acorns so far this year, and there's still a codgel left on the trees yet, AND, there not even my BL"%dy trees, they just lean over the fence and rain down debris into my garden, leaves, twigs, catkins, acorns, squirrels, jays magpies, :mad:
Mike
 
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RedFrame

RedFrame

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Figaro - I peel them downwards, much like a bannana but using a parring knife.

Mousy - I simmer them for 20-30 min, then use a slotted spoon to remove 3/4 at a time to a bowl, this keeps the inner skin moist and easy to peel.

I love them on their own, I eat each one as I peel them, but they go well with sprouts, mushrooms and Bacon (crispy). Also Riverbankannie 's Parsnip and Chestnut soup would be amazing 👏

dryad Horse Chestnuts drop well before the 10th October, the nuts are much smoother and round, and the big tell tale is that you can with care open a Horse Chestnut husk with an ungloved hand, not a Sweet Chestnut!!!

Riverbankannie - I check each nut for holes (approx 1mm dia) while picking them, then again after getting home and washing them, discard any with holes as they will destroy your whole crop. The other thing that helps is pick them while it's windy and they're dropping or within 3 hrs. If it's been windy overnight I go at 6 in the morning before work as by 6 in the evening most nuts will be contaminated.

ManTheVan - Good trees are very difficult to find, these Three are ancient and huge!

Carpmart - I'd share the location with you, but you are too far away to make use of them .

Greasy Chap Butty - See above, leave em in the pan until you're ready to peel them .

Cheers
Red
 

Mousy

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Well all you Funsters who can just go and pick these for free are lucky.

I’ve just paid 499 Croatian dib dobs or €6 per kg.

Using the above mentioned method this is what we have to show for our efforts of 1kg ….

EAE86411-9CE0-4BC8-929F-6E9D20ACA908.jpeg


Mind you it was a case of peel one, eat one, fight off Millie for one, peel one, fight Martin for one, eat two…::bigsmile:

I will freeze our small supply of whole ones and mix the bits in with a salad of pears, walnut’s, soft feta like cheese, dried Croatian ham, rocket and serve with some slabs of their gorgeous fresh bread, blue cheese and fig jam… that’s lunch tomorrow sorted.

Then we will doze it off on the beach.

27F8F335-1209-459A-BEFE-D29AB676119A.jpeg


Happy foraging

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