Fresh Chestnut FAQs
Some common questions when it comes to the sweet chestnut.
What are chestnuts?
The chestnut group is a genus (Castanea) of eight or nine species of deciduous trees and shrubs in the same family as the oak and beech.
The four main species are commonly known as European, Chinese, Japanese and American chestnuts. They have been cultivated from antiquity in the Orient and Europe, with the result that Chinese, Japanese, and European chestnut nuts are much larger than wild nuts, but the Oriental trees tend to be small orchard trees, while the European trees are still large forest trees suitable for timber. The American chestnut tree was essentially wiped out by a fungus (Blight) in the first half of the 20th century; it was also a big forest tree, with small sweet nuts.
Are sweet chestnuts similar to other nuts?
The chestnut is unlike other nuts in that they are very low in fats (~ 2%), and do not keep long when fresh, but can be stored in the refrigerator, or frozen for months. Chestnuts can keep for years if dried properly.
They have excellent protein content, complementary to both beans and maize. Besides the fresh chestnut uses of roasting and going into stuffing, dried chestnuts can be ground for flour, and used in bread and pasta. In Europe and Japan, candied chestnuts known as “marrons glaces” are a great delicacy. See ChestNutrition »
Can chestnuts be eaten raw?
Yes, some people love to eat chestnuts raw. Be sure to remove the skins that remain under the shell.
What variety are your chestnuts?
Our sweet chestnuts are a European hybrid.
How fresh are your chestnuts?
We are the grower, and we sell straight off the farm. We hand pick hand pick, sort, and hand pack right here on the premises and store them on site until we ship them to you direct.
Chestnuts are perishable, so we use the most expedient methods of shipping.
What kind of container can be used for refrigerating or freezing chestnuts?
Any airtight container will do. For longest storage, a vacuum sealed container works best.
Do you offer chestnut flour?
Yes, though wholesale only (Minimum 25#order), RC Farms sells chestnut flour.
Are sweet chestnuts the same a horse chestnuts?
No, sweet chestnuts (genus Castanea) should not be confused with horse chestnuts (genus Aesculus), which are not related to the sweet chestnut, but are named for producing nuts of similar appearance, but which are mildly poisonous to humans.