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Sweet chestnut picking in Sheffield

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They tend not to crop well after a dry spring but good luck. I've only seen very small-looking ones this year which aren't good enough for eating.

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as far as i knew sweet chestnuts dont grow in this country maybe i am wrong, i have looked for them for years but never found them, but they may grow down south were the weathers warmer

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Got a kilo from eccy woods but they were small but great for boiling, hopefully the bigger ones will drop off soon.

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dont think you will find sweet chestnuts, but try limb valley for normal ones, so I hear

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as far as i knew sweet chestnuts dont grow in this country maybe i am wrong, i have looked for them for years but never found them, but they may grow down south were the weathers warmer

 

err -

 

yes you're entirely wrong there cookingfat. Sounds like you've been brought up in the city and never ventured far out of it?

 

Just about all the woods around Sheffield have chestnut trees in them. There are two types of chestnut trees, btw - the "horse chestnut" which produces conkers - and the "English chestnut" which produces the edible type of chestnut. Problem is, they never grow very big in this country - not like the ones we import from Italy for example. However, they are very nice and sweet if you can be bothered to fiddle around with them.

 

As a kid I used to collect them - we all did. Going "nutting" was something most kids did this time of year. Oh and btw - I'm not talking about "conkers" which is the nut from the horse chestnut tree. Although we did that as well.

 

The best place I know, where you get dozens of English chestnut trees in one place, is Cuckney - not far from Clumber Park.

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Been to Cuckney this morning and picked up a good half carrier bag in about 10 mins :)

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Been to Cuckney this morning and picked up a good half carrier bag in about 10 mins :)

 

did you get any chestnuts as well?:)

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can you eat them raw or do you have to cook them

 

Both amanda.

 

They taste lovely raw, but the problem is that they are ever so small and fiddly and you have to remove not just the brown shell, but a sort of membraneous skin beneath the shell to get at the nut. If you don't remove that skin then, oh boy, does it taste bitter. One of the driest most bitter tastes you could ever imagine (unless you've already tried my mother in law's cabbage).

 

You can boil the chestnuts to cook them - or, as most people prefer, you can roast them in the oven.

 

If you are roasting them you need to make a little cut in the shell before putting them in the oven - otherwise they explode and you'll have a right mess to clean up.

 

Nick the shells with a sharp knife - put them in a very hot oven on a baking tray or in a roasting tin (roasting tin is easier because you ideally want to turn them over to blacken the shells and a roasting tin allows you to just take them out and give em a shake - then put them back). They'll need about 30 mins in a hot (220c) oven.

 

When they are cooked the shells will be charred and just by rubbing them briskly between your hands the shell and the inner skin will easily peel off.

 

Dip them in salt and away you go!

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anyone reckon I've missed the season for picking? if not, where can I find them? I've been swampted with work before.... x

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