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When prepared right, the roasted chestnuts almost pop out of their shell by themselves.

When prepared right, the roasted chestnuts almost pop out of their shell by themselves.

 

How to make superlicious chestnuts

Chestnuts can be eaten raw, but develop more flavour when roasted.

There are many recipes and uses for chestnuts, but they are simply divine as they are: Freshly roasted, eaten straight out of the shell.

 

The trick is to make them easy to peel:


1. Cut a long groove beneath the hard part of the rounded top

As the shell of the chestnut is quite hard, you’ll need a sharp knife. A mushroom knife or a special chestnut knife work well. But any knife with a good grip should do.

Make sure the chestnut sits securely on the flat side on a solid cutting board. Hold it down firmly and carefully. Warning: The chestnut’s shell is very smooth and slippery. It’s very easy to cut yourself, watch out!

Tip: As you slice across the chestnut, turn the blade slightly and pop up the shell. This will crack the shell along the sides and creates a nice flap that can be easily pulled open.


2. Soak the chestnuts for quite some time

Soaking prevents the chestnuts from drying out. They can get so hard, it’s difficult to crack, let alone eat them.

Soaking also helps to separate the furry skin from the nut and makes the peeling easier.

A few hours of soaking should do, but some even recommend soaking for a couple of days.


3. Roast the chestnuts at about 220 C for about 45 mins

Ideally the chestnuts would get baked in their closed skin to not lose moisture.

Don’t let the chestnuts in too long, or they’ll get too hard. But leave them in long enough that they bake through and the skin separates from the nut.

It’s difficult to get it right for all the chestnuts as they differ in size and ripeness. So there will always be some variety in the outcome.

 

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