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Sweet Chestnuts

Today is the nutty season in Crete. Perhaps we are all nuts for living on such a beautiful island, but I would live nowhere else. But now nuts are the thing. The lovely chestnut trees are disgorging their wonderful nut for us all to pick up.

The nuts are wonderful. They appear in October just before we light our fires where the sweet chestnuts can be cooked perfectly. Luckily, I know of a wonderful gorge in Crete where the nuts are just perfect. A day or two ago I went to get the nuts and very soon they will be roasted on our wood-burning stove. Here is what they look like on the tree.

chestnut on tree

Chestnuts on the tree

Then they burst open and fall to the ground, they are everywhere under the tree and as you gather them they fall on your head and all around you.

Sweet Chestnuts

Sweet Chestnut trees in my secret valley

Here you can see the trees with the fallen chestnuts in our wonderful sunlit valley.

chestnuts on the ground

Fallen chestnuts on the ground

Here are the fallen chestnuts. Mostly they are ejected from their prickly shells, but a few remain and with care, I can soon take them out of the shells. One thing that you must watch for is the tiny moth caterpillars that eat these nuts. They bore a tiny hole in the case of the nuts and eat the inside. Just test the nut for the tiny holes and if they are OK, then they are fine.

And this is how to cook them . . .

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