Great for Roasting on an Open Fire!
More good news for those prepared to combine their long autumn walks in Tollymore with a spot of foraging - delicious chestnuts are now in season, and ripe for the taking in our favourite local Park! There's a good few Chestnut trees (or Castanea sativa, to give her her proper title) in Tollymore, and there's plenty of good eating in them, if you have the patience with the peeling! Freshly picked nuts start off quite crisp, and become more tender and chewy over the following days and weeks, before deteriorating to a dry, floury texture. Storage in your fridge helps slow the ageing process. But when looking, choose nuts that are heavy for their size, with smooth, shiny shells. Give a squeeze to check that the nut inside is plump and full.
Peeling & Preparing
- Cut slits (or crosses) in the shells and part cook the nuts either by roasting for 15 minutes or boiling for 20.
- Shells should then be simple to remove. Removing the brown membrane on the nut is a fiddlier task, and you will need to break open some nuts to get at the skin in the crevices.
- Shelled and peeled, they can then be cooked according to recipe requirements (for mashing or pureeing, they should have the consistency of cooked potatoes - test with a skewer).
So there it is - the Brunel's Chestnut tutorial for you - go see what you can find! And always, please, forage safely and responsibly.
More good news for those prepared to combine their long autumn walks in Tollymore with a spot of foraging…