When chestnuts are first harvested, they are hard when you squeeze the shell-- no give. At this point the nuts are all starch. As the chestnuts start to ripen, the starch slowly converts to sugar and the chestnut will start to lose moisture. When you squeeze the chestnut, you will feel a slight give between the shell and the nutmeat.
Chestnuts, because of the low fat content are highly perishable. To keep your chestnuts fresh, place in a VENTILATED bag in the crisper of your refrigerator or freeze for later use.
Note: Chestnuts are a starchy vegetable, similar to rice or potatoes. Before you freeze your order, we suggest you freeze a few nuts for a few days, thaw and prepare as you normally would. This will give you an indication if you like the taste after they are frozen. Some customers like the taste, others don't. We suggest you judge for yourself.
HOW TO PREPARE CHESTNUTS
So you won't burst the shell, take a Chestnut knife or use a small blade serrated knife and cut a large "X" on the flat side of the nut. Make sure you cut all the way through the shell.
You can use a long handled pan or use a fireplace popcorn basket. Do not overcrowd the chestnuts as you want all sides to touch the pan. Shake the pan like you would popcorn and hold the pan just above the flame, not in it. The cooking should take about 15 minutes, or until the outside shell is black. Remove the nuts from the pan to an area where they can cool to the touch and you can easily peel and eat them. They will be almost creamy inside.
Remember to cut the "X" in the shell. Lay the nuts in one layer in a oven proof dish. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-35 minutes. Cool slightly, peel, eat and enjoy.
Stove-top or Barbecue Grill...
Cut the "X", and cook in a heavy pan - cast-iron preferred - do not crowd the chestnuts. Cook over moderate heat, shake the pan. Cook until shells look cooked and you can smell the nuts. Cool slightly, peel, eat and enjoy.
After scoring, put the nuts into lightly salted water. Bring to a boil. Take the chestnuts out at once and peel while warm.
After scoring, place in a microwave safe dish with a little water, cover and microwave for 2 -2 1/2 minutes. Peel while warm. This is a great way to easily prepare chestnuts for recipes.
The Silverstone® Chestnut Roaster - Can be used in the oven or microwave. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for using which are found inside the box.
Chestnuts are mostly carbohydrates, so the longer you cook them and the more moisture you add, the softer the nuts will become.
Make scoring chestnuts easy--order a chestnut knife with your order of Delmarvelous Chestnuts!