Chestnuts date back to prehistoric times and are a good source of starch.
Selecting and Buying
Some specialty markets also carry frozen shelled and peeled Italian chestnuts. Canned chestnuts can be either sweetened or unsweetened and are usually imported from France, making them a bit pricey.
Preparation and Use
Although they are wonderful straight from the oven or fireplace, you can make use of the winter chestnut crop in many ways, both sweet and savory.To boil, cover with cold water, bring to a boil, and simmer for three minutes. Remove from heat. Scoop out a few at a time and peel off the shell and skin with a sharp knife. As they cool, they become more difficult to peel, so keep them in hot water until you are ready to peel. Proceed with your recipe using the peeled nuts, making sure you finish cooking them completely within your recipe.
Conserving and Storing
Fresh chestnuts will dry out easily, so keep them in a cool, dry place, free of drafts, and use within 1 week. Fresh nuts in the shell can be placed in a perforated plastic bag and stored in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator up to 1 month, depending on the freshness factor when you purchase them. Fresh chestnuts can be frozen whole in their shells up to 4 months.