One of the best of the Autumn nuts and well worth the effort of collecting, peeling and cooking.
|Common Names||Sweet Chestnut, Spanish Chestnut|
|Scientific Name||Castanea sativa|
Female flowers grow at the base of the catkins and look a little like the future spiny cases for the nuts themselves which is what they develop into.
Produces one to three nuts that in some Autumns are big enough to be worth the effort of preparation.
Has a mesh or reticulation pattern spiralling up the trunk. Can be smooth on less mature trees.
The Horse Chestnut or Conker Tree can look similar but the spines on the nut sheath don’t hurt as much as they do on the Sweet Chestnut.
The nuts have a wonderful taste that can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes.
The best way to collect the nuts is to roll them underfoot until released from the painfully spiny case. The nuts can be eaten raw or cooked.