Buying Chestnuts for Christmas. Beware!

  Noels 16:09 11 Dec 2007

Now is the time when all the unsold nuts from last Christmas get brought out again by the wholesalers hoping to offload them on innocent customers. I used to be remotely connected with the trade so know what goes on.
So far this year I have come across several lots of chestnuts which are quite obviously last years stock.
Before buying chestnuts; they should feel full and firm. The insides should fill the shell so that there is no give in the shell they should also feel relatively heavy for their size. With other nuts its more difficult but buy from a reliable source and you should be alright.
Hope this might be a rough guide. Noels

  €dstowe 16:16 11 Dec 2007

Timely warning. I've not been caught but I know it goes on, having been told by friends in the trade.

I'm lucky, living in the countryside, that I can (and do) gather chestnuts, hazelnuts and walnuts direct from under the trees.

  lisa02 16:20 11 Dec 2007

In 25 years of life I've never eaten a Conker and never will. They're for school children to play with in the playground.

  €dstowe 16:26 11 Dec 2007

Conkers are very unpleasant to eat - bitter and soapy. Nothing like sweet chestnuts at all.

  wiz-king 16:26 11 Dec 2007

Best not to try eating conkers, it's the sweet chestnut thats eaten - the ones with so many spines on the husk of the nut they look like green hedgehogs.

  Diemmess 17:05 11 Dec 2007

Edible chestnuts are from a very different tree, the Spanish chestnut.
The tree is quite unlike the Horse chestnut which graces parkland and roadsides, but its timber though soft is used sometimes in decorative handcrafted furniture.
I always had the impression that conkers are poisonous, but that may be more hearsay than fact.

Thanks Noel for the hint, I have only ever eaten those I could pick up for myself, but I do enjoy chestnut stuffing.

  Jak_1 17:15 11 Dec 2007

See here:

click here

  Forum Editor 18:14 11 Dec 2007

and bring back happy memories of when I was younger and carefree, and lived in the depths of the countryside. We used to sit in front of a huge log-fire in our local pub, and roast chestnuts in one of those big flat spoon things with holes in it. I'm not sure what they're called - chestnut roasters, I suppose.

Now I do them under our grill, and my wife groans when she sees me come home with them at Christmas - I'm the only one who likes them, and she dreads them exploding all over the place.

Thanks for the 'old stock' warning - I'll be weighing and squeezing from now on.

  exdragon 18:50 11 Dec 2007

Aren't you carefree now, FE? How could you not be, with all of us to look after.....

  gardener 18:58 11 Dec 2007

I'm surprised the EU hasn't ordered all those green spiky shells to be labelled 'Warning, May Contain Nuts'.

  Forum Editor 19:07 11 Dec 2007

Sometimes I am, sometimes I'm not.

Today my car went for a service, and I've just paid for today, no, I'm not carefree.

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