Anyone have a good one?
I don't have a good one. I don't even like chestnuts. I tried them once - from a street vendor in Geneva. Was it fall? Was it around Christmas? Don't remember any more. Anyway, it was once too many.
But since you've got no response so far, I ran a search and here's what seems like a step-by-step (easy it ain't and can't possibly be) recipe in the link attached.
Here is a link that might be useful: well rewarded madness (could I be sane after all?)
I'm not crazy about chestnuts, I think they are just "OK". In fact, I think they taste a bit like squash and not like nuts at all. Plus, they are a pain to peel, LOL.
We have a "pick your own" chestnut orchard locally, so we've roasted chestnuts and I made a batch of spiced chestnuts last year, but never made any candied ones.
So, agmss, did you ever make the chestnuts?
Merry Christmas! Thanks for the link.
Annie - not yet. I seem to be on a chestnut tear since Thanksgiving. I ended up buying 10 lbs from a farm in the NW for Christmas. Gifts, roasted, boiled and chocolate covered. I still want to make chestnut/squash soup and maybe marron glacee..
I went to the reception for art show last winter - part of a series of shows of woman artists in Maine. One woman had a series of pieces about the loss of the american chestnut and her Appalachian family's long history with them. Evocative images. So I have been thinking about the loss of such a large part of the eastern US forest - and a food so many poor people depended on..... and off I go on a food tangent.
agmss, believe it or not, here in Michigan we had an old American Chestnut tree. The American Chestnut foundation had Dad send in pieces of leaves and bark for identification and for research, apparently some trees were naturally immune/resistant to the blight that killed the trees. This one is/was also outside of the normally recognized growing range, although not by much, and it appears that isolated trees spread from those few in southeast Michigan. This map shows the counties where trees have been found, including mine.
Of course, that started a fire under Dad, who was determined to single handedly revive the chestnut, LOL. He carefully planted every single nut he could get his hands on. When one grew, he would plant it somewhere in the Manistee National Forest, his rationale was that if he planted them far enough apart, they couldn't get the fungus from each other.
I've looked for the old tree, but cannot find it, or at least haven't found it yet, but Dad sent a chestnut to school with Ashley once for science class, still surrounded in its prickly coat. Not a single student knew what it was, sadly.
The local orchard is a hybrid type, which resists the blight, but it's not an American Chestnut, it's an Asian type I think.
Here is a link that might be useful: American Chestnut in Michigan
This post was edited by annie1992 on Wed, Dec 25, 13 at 23:30
My dad did the same with some black walnut seed from a tree growing in Maine maybe 25-30 years ago. We are a little north of their range. In his case he was thinking of future lumber. He never transplanted his nursery bed so we thinned it a few years before he died. His seedlings are producing seed - so future woodworkers might be harvesting from his little project. My mother made some walnut ink. My stepsister was going to attempt worchester sauce.
Back to chestnuts I will try to get one at Fedco next spring. My mom has one coming along but it's neighbors need taming. A semi-local writer/naturalist Bernd Heinrich just wrote an NYT article about chestnuts spreading through his woods in western Maine from seeds of trees he planted. Neat.
"Marrons! Chauds, chauds les mar-r-rons! "
When I was in Paris, that was my favorite street food. Roasted chestnuts.
"Hot chestnuts! Hot sugar sand roasted chestnut!"
And street food when I was in China.
There are more then one kind of chestnuts. The big ones they sell here do not have very much flavor and less sweet. Still I like them. Just made a lot of chestnut stuffing for last night's Christmas dinner.
I like them. Especially this time of year in the city. They have an aroma unmatched. Very nice with mushrooms in a dressing with wild rice. I don't really seek them out. Here they are and i will give it a try and complain a bit as they are often a disappointment in peeling and getting just right. I still see them in the grocery but i've had my holiday attempt this year....one weird batch and an okay success. The history is fascinating as the above stories tell...
Ran across this blog post last night from a couple in Bulgaria. Some methods of cooking i'd not heard of.
Here is a link that might be useful: how to buy, store, and cook chestnuts
What I was talking about:
Chap in the second video could be a singer. I suspect que ca rapporte beaucoup plus que moyen, despite what he claims.
Peel 1KG chestnuts and cook in boiling water for no longer than 15mins. less if you couldn't get nice big ones.
Bring to the boil 1.5 litres water and 1.5kgs sugar. Add a split vanilla pod. Add your nuts, preferably in a basket for easy removal. Simmer 3 minutes and stop the heat. leave them to cool in the syrup 24 hours. The next day, remove them while you bring the syrup to tbe boil. Add nuts and simmer 3 minutes. Cool 24 hours. Repeat twice more, then remove from srup and leave to harden on waxed paper.
Thank you for the recipe. My experiment begins now. Well last night when I peeled the little buggers.
Syrup is finally thickening.
Whether or not I like the result - the vanilla syrup is delicious. I don't usually like purely sweet food but this is amazing. I used vanilla bean paste instead of a vanilla bean.
Hope they turn out well! Looking very nice!