Fall is the season of delicious and satisfying foods. In Spain we wish the arrival of this season to taste one of the richest fruits of Extremadura: chestnuts. However, peeling chestnuts does not seem to be anyone’s favorite hobby.
Chestnuts are a versatile ingredient that can be used in various dishes, from desserts to fillings and healthy snacks. In Spain we usually eat them roasted or in the form of mastic during Christmas. Although also, many cooks integrate this fruit in rice as a delicious garnish or as a dressing for different red meats.
However, one of the reasons people may choose not to cook with chestnuts is that cooking and peeling them can be a tedious process. In fact, since chestnuts are known to be so difficult to peel, there are places that sell specialized tools exclusively for this purpose. As if it were a nutcracker. However, there is a simple trick that will make your life easier when you go to peel chestnuts.
Freeze before peeling
If we follow a simple trick shared by a Japanese Twitter user, we will have chestnuts ready to use without much fuss, without breaking our fingers and without the need for special tools. The steps to follow are very simple:
- To start with, freeze your raw chestnuts overnight.
- The next day, take them out of the freezer and immediately plunge them into boiling water for 5 minutes.
- Then drain the chestnuts, cut off the flat bottom with a paring knife and you can easily peel them by hand, hard shell, brown membrane and all.
Although they have been frozen, they are still raw. And raw chestnuts contain tannic acid , which can cause problems for certain people. Cooking chestnuts removes the tannic acid and makes them sweeter. And we might think that freezing raw chestnuts will not work to peel them easier, but it is a trick that really works. The process is much easier and the end result cleaner. So we can say goodbye to the pieces of shell that remain inside. Even the possible worms that are inside will be dead and we will prevent their spread through the rest of the fruit.
In addition, it is a very safe method, since it reduces the number of times we have to use a knife or a specialized chestnut peeler with sharp serrated blades. If we have had a problem with chestnuts in the past or have avoided them for this reason, why not try this trick and enjoy chestnut dishes?