Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire…

Chestnuts (Fagaceae – Beech species) are a cool season crop; available in the markets from October through March, peaking in December. In Asia and Europe, they are now harvested and processed employing traditional methods.
Early in the 20th century the American chestnut trees were almost wiped out by a pathogenic fungus!
In the stores, choose big sized, fresh nuts. Since they are rich in starch and fewer fats than most other nuts, they tend to spoil rather quickly if exposed to air and excess humid conditions for a longer period. To verify freshness, cut open some sample nuts and check for heavy, meaty, creamy-white kernel inside since oftentimes it is difficult to find out damaged nuts by their external outlook. Avoid those with greenish mold developed between the convoluted folds, kernel and its outer shell.
Chestnuts should be treated more like vegetables and fruits than nuts when it comes to their storage. Once at home, pack them and store inside the refrigerator, set with high relative humidity where they remain fresh for a few weeks
Preparation and serving methods: Chestnuts are pleasantly sweet and flavorful. In the olden times, the native Americans treated chestnuts as their staple foods, employed them much like modern-day potatoes.
Here are some serving tips:
Enjoy them raw, boiled or roasted. To roast, make few, small incisions over the dome-side to prevent them from busting.
In Japan, steamed chestnut rice (kurigohan) is a popular autumn dish. In Korea, a kind of sweet dessert known as yaksik is prepared using chestnuts, jujube fuirts and pine nuts mixed with glutinous rice for the new year celebrations.
The nuts are used as one of the main ingredients in poultry stuffing, especially in the Thanksgiving turkey.
Chestnut flour is also favored in many Tuscany recipes such as polenta, sweet breads, biscuits,
cakes, soups and ice-cream.
Marron glace is extremely popular in Europe where large sized, high quality European chestnuts (marrone di lucerna ) are used. To prepare marron glace or glazed chestnuts, the nuts are soaked in water, then dipped and heated in gradual concentration of sugar-vanilla syrup for several days. Thus candied nuts are then subjected to dry under heat/sunlight before packing.