7 responses to “Castanea sativa”

  1. christian STAEBLER

    We are searching these nuts every autumn. We also have forests of Castanea sativa in the Pyrenees (I was also searching these in Alsace years ago).
    The other simple method of eating them (instead of roasting):
    Put away the brown skin (with a sharp knife), then cook them 10-15 minutes in boiling water. You can then remove the white skin easily (as long as it’s hot, take care of your fingers) and eat the nut. Personnaly I preffer them this way.

  2. Beverley

    Castanea sativa – Z5 – RHS Index of Garden Plants, Griffiths
    Castanea sativa – Z5-7 – A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, Brickell, Cole, Zuk
    Castanea sativa – “Hotter than average summers are required to produce good crops of nuts.” – Hillier Manual of Trees & Shrubs, 2003

  3. Heather Dunbar

    It is important that you score them first, but a very easy way to prepare chestnuts in by microwaving them on high until it smells like chestnuts.
    If you forget to cut through the skin of *each* chestnut, you may get a sticky blow-out or- if your luck is particularly bad and one of the chestnuts has a thick skin- blow the microwave door off the hinges.

  4. Katherine

    In the U.S., we mostly think only of roast chestnuts. Roast chestnuts are nice, but there are only so many of them that one can eat before they lose some appeal. The reason that so many more are eaten in Europe and Asia is that they are used in many different types of recipes. I think they mostly boil them first, as Christian suggested, before using them in a recipe.

    Here is a link to a page of recipes, just to give you an idea of the diversity:


  5. Big Al

    The trees are very common in southern Britain, though the nuts are smaller than the cultivated types. I did notice that the flowers in spring have a rather evil smell.

  6. Akhil

    Used to think of Chestnuts as a very special thing.
    Haven’t even seen any for about 45 years now!
    Want large photos on internet, to explain to my
    9 years old daughter.
    Only the nut without those parts of the plant.

  7. Mary Ann, in Toronto

    A very interesting page, and the links are worth following, too.
    The tradition in my original family (European immigrants) was not to roast the nuts, but to boil them (as in the first post), but with the brown skin still on. But first we would cut a little slash through the hard brown skin, so the nuts wouldn’t burst in the boiling water.

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