[Sca-cooks] Chestnuts

Christiane christianetrue at earthlink.net
Tue Jul 8 07:19:24 PDT 2008

Stefan says:

>Gianotta asked about chestnuts:
><<< This past Saturday I dragged my mom to the local H&Y food market.  
>My main objective was Pocky, but I also picked up a bag of dried  
>chestnuts. The intent is to make a Tuscan chestnut and rice soup  
>(chopped, sauteed chestnuts, arborio rice, onions, chicken stock, bay  
>leaves, salt, pepper). But what are your favorite period entree  
>recipes with chestnuts? What are your favorite non-period chestnut  
>Another question: Can you make chestnut flour from dried chestnuts,  
>or are they too hard to run through a food processor?>>>
>This is the first I think I've heard of chestnuts being available  
>dried, so I don't know if any of the recipes given in this file can  
>be used with dried, rather than fresh, chestnuts but perhaps worth a  
>This is in the FOOD section of the Florilegium:
>chestnuts-msg     (36K)  1/20/08    Medieval harvesting and use of  
>                                        Roasting. Recipes.
>Your main objective was Pocky? What is "Pocky"?

I looked at what was in the Florilegium; but what I would like to find out from folks is what recipes they have had particular success with and they find particularly yummy. The soup recipe I got out of a book on Tuscan cooking and it looked tasty, but I don't know if it was period (it could have been, but it may not have been the food of the upper classes). I did find an OOP chestnut soup recipe from the Piedmont, published in 1766 according to the reference. I have also found a chestnut and pasta recipe (make a very liquid puree of the chestnuts and cook the pasta in it; seasonings are olive oil and freshly ground pepper).

Dried chestnuts are like dried beans in that they have to be rehydrated by soaking and then boiled to tenderness, I have found out. Then they can be used like roasted fresh ones. I also found some mention that dried chestnuts can me made into flour using a food processor. That's handy to know, because I've found a couple of Asian markets in my area that sell dried chestnuts but getting chestnut flour would entail mail order.

Master A has the description of Pocky; I have not seen other kinds of Pocky other than the chocolate-dipped ones, though. I got "marble" (mixed light and dark chocolate), almond-dipped, and Giant Pocky (a big version of the regular Pocky; these are the length of a typical bread stick, the regular Pocky are like thin cigarrettes). They're definitely tasty and fun with coffee. Oh, heck, they're just fun all together.


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