Sweet chestnuts: The aroma only develops when roasted
When the chestnuts fall from the trees, it's time for a very special delicacy. Only through roasting and cooking is the starch contained converted to sugar, and the fruits develop their typically sweet aroma. However, the bowl should be cut crosswise so that the chestnuts do not explode in the oven. A fireproof bowl of water ensures that the fruit stays nice and juicy. When the peel comes off and smells nice, the chestnuts are ready. Then the skin and inner skin can be removed.
Chestnuts taste pure or with a little butter and salt, as an accompaniment to game and stuffing for the turkey, but also in soups and desserts. The dried fruits are ground to chestnut flour and used for bread or cake. It is gluten free and therefore also suitable for people with celiac disease. Sweet chestnuts contain more than 40 percent carbohydrates and 50 percent water, but only two percent fat. This makes them by far the least fat nuts. The chestnuts can also score with B vitamins, vitamin C, folic acid, potassium and magnesium.
Sweet chestnuts are the brown to red-brown nuts of the European chestnut (Castanea sativa), which can also be found in warmer areas in Germany. Walkers are most likely to find something in the Palatinate, Lake Constance and in the Rhine-Main-Neckar region. But also in the rest of Germany you can discover individual trees in the forest and in parks. The fruits grow in a spiky pericarp that opens when ripe and falls from the tree. The term chestnut is used for particularly large-fruity varieties with high fruit quality. They are considered particularly fine and can be recognized by a heart-like shape with a triangular underside.
By the way, chestnuts are not related to horse chestnuts (Aesculus hippocastanum), although the fruits are very similar. The horse chestnut gives children some autumn handicraft fun, but it is not edible. If you don't want to collect, chestnuts are available in stores until March. With a little luck, consumers can buy local goods from southern Germany at the weekly market. The fruits should be plump and free of worms. A shiny bowl is also a sign of freshness. Heike Kreutz, respectively