What’s it like to distinguish edible from non-edible chestnuts, and how to bake the edible ones?
Or, rather, how not to bake them…???
Lyons Cub really made a bad experience baking chestnuts this October. First, how do you tell edible from non-edible chestnuts apart? It’s quite easy:
- Edible chestnuts are flatter, whereas non-edible chestnuts are rounder (you can craft chestnut figurines with those).
- The green peel of edible chestnuts looks like a hedgehog (thin and very many spikes), while the green peel of non-edible chestnuts has few, thicker spikes spaced out further apart.
- Edible chestnuts are ripe sooner than non-edible ones; we collected ours in early October already, when the non-edible ones weren’t even dropping from the trees yet.
Edible chestnuts look like this:
Here, Lyons Cub went collecting them in the streets. We had driven there on our Hudora scooters.
We collected about a third of an ALDI bag full of chestnuts. Then, we took them home, and now we forgot the most important step: We didn’t make a cross-shaped cut through their round sides but put them in the oven directly and baked them for about 20 minutes at 180 degrees C. (Well, I thought that since many had been lying on the street, they had been run over by cars and had a slit already.)
Needless to say, they behaved like pop corn, and grandma was mad that she had to clean the oven, which was completely covered in tiny chestnut fragments after they had exploded 😉
I tried some of those that she didn’t chuck into the trashcan, and they were quite delicious, though!
Thus, when collecting chestnuts to bake, first make sure you pick up the right kind of chestnuts (the flat ones with the hedgehog peel), and second, make a cross-shaped cut through them before you put them into the oven!!! 🙂 Alternatively, you can also boil them in water (add a little bit of salt).