Sweet chestnuts are delicious smooth brown nuts, enclosed in a spiky casing. They are similar to horse chestnuts, but luckily these are edible (although very unpleasant when raw) and come into season from the end of September to end of January as they fall to the ground.
Very high in dietary fibre, chestnuts are also high in vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, copper, anti-oxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids, making them a fantastic addition to any dish. Their soft texture and strong flavour make them suitable for both sweet and savoury recipes, as shown in this inspiring chestnut recipe collection.
Particularly popular at Christmas, try using chestnuts in stuffing like in Martin Wishart's recipe for roast goose with chestnut and pear stuffing, or they add a lovely, rich flavour to Simon Rogan's goose and chestnut chipolata canapés. For a decadent wintry dessert, Nigel Mendham adds them to his dark chocolate fondant with chestnut and squash.