MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM CHEZNUTS
I will keep this newsletter short but Brian and I wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous 2017. Thank you for your support during 2016 and we look forward to continuing to offer delicious chestnut products for you in the future.
Please Note: I will be increasing the postage from 16 December until Christmas as I’ll use Express Post from then to make sure parcels arrive in time. If you’re planning to include chestnuts this Christmas (and who isn’t??) please put your orders in soon.
As Nigella Lawson famously said
“You just can’t have Christmas without Chestnuts.”
Well Christmas is almost upon us. It never ceases to amaze me how it creeps up all of a sudden. One minute you feel like you’ve got plenty of time to get things organised – Christmas dinner, presents and then the next moment you are scrambling to get it all done.
I especially enjoy the break between Christmas and the New Year. It is an opportunity to reflect on all the things that have happened in the past year, both good and not so good and then kick off the new year with a fresh slate and renewed enthusiasm.
The cool and wet spring has resulted in a late start to the season. This will most certainly have an effect at the other end of the growing cycle with an expected later than usual start to the harvest season. The good news is that our chestnut trees that were planted 4 years ago look like having some nuts next year so we will once again be back supplying fresh chestnuts. We’ll keep you posted about this as we get closer to harvest.
In October/November Brian and I went to Japan for 2 weeks. The main reason for the trip was to study yuzu growing. As we previously explained we have diversified into growing the Japanese citrus fruit yuzu. Of course, being autumn and Japan, chestnuts featured all over the place. As soon as we arrived, Brian spotted chestnut shaped biscuits which he just had to buy. That started us chestnut spotting and there was no shortage of opportunity to experience chestnuts. We spent a week on the island of Shikoku in the Kochi and Tokushima prefectures – this was the yuzu part of the tour.
Ukai Tei Omotesando
Then we stopped in at Tokyo on the way back to visit our customer there. We have been sending processed Australian chestnuts to Japan since 2001 to the same distributor who are now very good friends. They took us to an amazing lunch at Ukai-Tei in Omotesando. It was indescribable – nothing I could say would do it justice. Here are a few pics to give you an idea…
Gluten Free Chestnut Fruit Cake
We supply chestnuts to many other businesses for adding to stuffings, etc. One local business that we supply flour and puree to is The Traditional Plum Pudding Company. They make the most delicious plum puddings and fruit cakes. In fact, I always buy their plum pudding for my Christmas dinner because it’s so lovely and much less work than doing one from scratch myself. They use our chestnut flour and puree to make gluten free Chestnut Fruit Cake. See their website for this product and lots of other yummy things from the Alpine Valleys. If you’re after some nice last minute foodie Christmas pressies this is the spot to go to.
We have often been asked for unsweetened chestnut puree. As it involves specialised sterilising equipment that we don’t have, we’ve arranged to import some from our friends at Sabaton in the Ardeche region of France. This is the same company that supplies us with the marrons in syrup that we use for our marrons glaces. The puree is now available in two sizes on the website.
As most of my newsletter subscribers know, I love Jamie Oliver (and also Nigella Lawson) so I couldn’t help myself and instantly purchased his new Christmas cook book. (I bought Nigella’s Christmas book last year). There are 14 recipes featuring chestnuts. Some are completely vegetarian such as the Cheese Pie with chestnut pastry or the nut roast but the one that I’m most keen to try is the Beef Carpaccio with butternut pumpkin and chestnuts. I am going to break all copyright and put in a link here to the recipe but I encourage all chestnut lovers to get the book – you won’t be disappointed.
If you’ve got this far – thank you for reading and I look forward bringing you more information in the future. Best wishes for a very Merry Christmas,