The Content Of The Article:
- Choose early-bearing varieties for the garden
- Harvest and prepare chestnuts
- Process chestnuts into flour or puree
- Not related to horse chestnuts
When the forests in the Palatinate, the Black Forest and Alsace turn golden yellow, the time has come to collect sweet chestnuts. Kesten, boxes or Keschden are the regionally different names for the nut fruits. The term chestnuts or chestnuts deserve only large-fruited breeds, where no more than three seeds in the spiny shell sit. The thin skin that covers the tasty core should hardly have grown. In France, only 12 percent are allowed "inner skin inclusions".
Choose early-bearing varieties for the garden
Traditional readings form mighty crowns, but often only bear fruit after one or two decades. The varieties 'Maraval' and 'Belle Epine' are supplied as Niederstamm, need only four to five meters of standing space and fruit after two to three years. Like all chestnuts, these varieties are not self-fertile and need a second chestnut as pollen donor. Tip: The Italian variety 'Brunella' delivers only medium-sized fruits, but is also suitable as a decorative house tree thanks to the harmonious crown. Especially large chestnuts provide the early maturing selection 'Bouche de Betizac'. In addition, the French breed is resistant to chestnut gall wasp and chestnut rust.
A sweet chestnut, also called sweet chestnut, can become several hundred years old and 30 meters high. In parks or large landscaped gardens make the stately trees as ornamental shrubs career
The conditions for healthy trees and high yields are a warm location and slightly acidic soil. As with walnuts, there is no educational cut. Careful blending or shortening to long branches is recommended only from the beginning of the yield. Before that, the shoot growth is greatly stimulated, which delays the flowering and fruiting.
It is best to collect the fruits every two to three days. Leaving the chestnuts in the damp grass for longer, threatens worm and mold
Harvest and prepare chestnuts
The harvest starts at the end of September and lasts until November, depending on the region and variety. Lay the chestnuts loosely in airy wicker or wire baskets, do not use foil pouches. In it, the fruits begin to "spice up" after a short time. In a cool, humid room you can then store chestnuts for four to six weeks; they should be used as soon as possible.
Chestnuts can also be eaten raw, cooked or roasted, but are more digestible. First scrape the pan in a crosswise manner, then cook it in salted water for 20 minutes or roast it at 200 degrees on the baking sheet in the oven until the peel bursts. Peel the chestnuts as hot as possible - during cooling or quenching, peel and seed skin are more firmly attached to the fruit.
Roasted chestnuts are particularly popular, but their nutty aroma unfolds in the oven. Boil the fruits briefly, then bake at 180 degrees for about 20 minutes
Process chestnuts into flour or puree
Ear candy used to be the bread tree of the poor. Flour was made from the fruits. Today hot roasted chestnuts from the bag are a delicacy on autumn and Christmas markets. In the kitchen, the fruits are now making a comeback: glazed with roast goose, in soup or as puree. Milled to flour can be used for cakes, bread, pancakes or waffles. Because of their high starch content, chestnuts and sweet chestnuts are very nutritious. They also contain phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and folic acid as well as B and C vitamins.
If you can not collect chestnuts yourself, you can now get them peeled and vacuum-packed in the supermarket. Chestnut or chestnut purée is ready to be bought in a glass. By the way, water chestnuts are a delicacy from Asia, but not related to chestnuts. They belong to the tuberous plants and are cooked part of many Asian dishes.
Sweet chestnuts (Castanea sativa, left), also called sweet chestnut, belong to the beech family. Horse chestnuts (Aesculus hippocastanum, right) are representatives of the soap tree family
Not related to horse chestnuts
Chestnuts can be recognized by their cladding with long, fine spines. Their panicle flowers are inconspicuous, the leaves stand individually on the stem. Unrelated, but more common and frost-resistant are the horse chestnuts (Aesculus hippocastanum). They stand out for their candle blossoms in the spring and their hand-shaped big leaves. From their fruits that are inedible for us children like to make figures in autumn. In natural medicine, horse chestnuts are used as an anti-inflammatory and dehydrating agent. They used to be given coughing horses for food.