Fresh Italian Chestnuts

Fresh Italian ChestnutsIt’s December, and we are excited to say that Fresh Italian Chestnuts are in the market! What is more wintery than chestnuts? Whether you are roasting them on an open fire, on your stovetop, or in your oven they will help you catch the seasonal spirit. And fresh chestnuts are worth the extra effort.

Chestnuts are revered in Europe and particularly in the Mediterranean cultures. In Italy, where the growing climate is perfect for chestnuts, everybody eats chestnuts in many variations. They can be candied or ground into a flour, and they are often puréed and sweetened to make desserts. Roasting chestnuts produces a delicate and slightly sweet flavor while softening the texture to potato-like consistency.

When you purchase Italian chestnuts in their shells look for a dark brown exterior with no significant blemishes or cracks; moreover, the skin should be tight and healthy looking.

How to Roast Fresh Italian Chestnuts in the Oven

Preheat the oven to 425º F.

On the flat side of each chestnut, cut a large X all the way through the skin. This allows the steam to escape.

Place chestnuts on a shallow baking pan and place in the oven to roast for about 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the nuts. Shake pan several times to rotate chestnuts so they will cook evenly.

Peel roasted chestnuts as soon as they are cool enough to handle. Once they cool completely, they are difficult to peel. However, they may be reheated briefly to aid in peeling.

And, here is a great recipe from our archives for
Cream of Chestnut Soup
“I did find one promising recipe in a family favorite cookbook published by the Junior League of Palo Alto in 1980. It’s wonderful on chilly night.”

Comments are closed.