Chestnuts

This blog post was originally going to contain a recipe for banana cake but then I changed my mind. (No worries, I’ll post that in two weeks.)

When I ask people what they love about autumn, most will give the obvious answers: pumpkins, pumpkin spice lattes, cozy sweaters, leaves in gorgeous colours, Halloween, and some people will probably say their birthday.

For me, the answer would be different. While my birthday is indeed this season and I do love cozy sweaters and the lovely view out my window, my favourite thing about autumn are chestnuts.

There’s nothing that screams ‘autumn’ quite like going out to find chestnuts in the cold, then come home and warm up with a hot beverage while waiting for the chestnuts to cook. Yes, chestnuts are edible.

Nowadays, it’s become less shocking to see chestnuts being sold but a decade ago people would call you crazy if you told them you ate chestnuts. A pity for them because they are delicious.

Now I could be greedy and withhold this information from you (more for me) but I wasn’t raised that way. So, because I am so kind, I will explain exactly which chestnuts are edible and which are not.

And the way I’m going to do so is….. with pictures:

bewerkte-wilde-kastanje

These are not edible. The outer shell isn’t very prickly, and therefore easy to grab, and the chestnuts are round.

enkele-wilde-kastanje

Additionally, there is only one chestnut per shell (see pictured above).

This in contrast with edible chestnuts (as pictured below):

bewerkte-tamme-kastanje

Edible chestnuts have a shell that hurts to touch (trust me, I have years of experience), and the chestnuts are not round but have a little pointy bit on one end.

tamme-kastanje-oud

Additionally, the shell holds more than one chestnut. (The shell darkens with age but the chestnuts are still edible, and just as tasty. Don’t discriminate.)

There are many ways to eat these. Some people have them raw (I have no experience with this, please consult the internet if you desire more information), but you can also cook them in water (only 131 calories per 100 grams) or roast them. If you do decide to roast them, make sure to cut the skin.

Now I know they started selling chestnuts on markets (I saw them), but they grotesquely overprice them (€7 for a kg, seriously?!). But even half the price would be expensive, considering they can be found in many a forest, on the side of some roads, etc. free for grabs.

We go each year, occasionally multiple times in the same year, and we come back with several kg. Two days ago we got a little over 3kg in an hour and a half, including the walk there and back (10-15 min in each direction).

If you want to enjoy nature and get a snack out of it, go out and find yourself some chestnut trees.

Now unfortunately I must ruin this lovely blog ending with some necessary practical information.

It is impossible for me to produce useful content related to writing every week, and I really don’t want to have long gasp within posts, so I have decided to post every Sunday (unless I suffer a migraine, like last night, or am otherwise occupied), switching between writing-related content (whether this be advice or a short piece I wrote) and food-related content.

Next week’s blog post will be about inspiration: how to find it, how to keep it, and why it’s more fun to write with inspiration than without. (And after that I have 8 more weeks of content planned and ready to be written.)

See you next week!

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Author: arthurduchannes

Writer, lover of food, interested in a little bit of everything

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