Chestnut Flour - November 2015 - Le Menu Paleo
Chestnut Flour – November 2015
Chestnut flour is one of those ingredients that remind me why I take pleasure in cooking.
It is as soft as talcum powder and propagates a sweet scent throughout the house when baked. It reminds me of the rusticity of long past life, making me think of rough wooden table on which hard working mums roll on pastry, of the golden colours of Autumn and the pleasures of foraging in the woods. That is, I suspect, because the French and the Italians alike have been using chestnut flour for hundreds of years be it in sweet or savoury dishes.
For a time (nearly a century), many seem to have forgotten how delicious, versatile and useful Chestnut flour could be and the need for it wilted. But I am glad to say that it is going through a bit of a revival, which means it is finding its way back into cookery magazines and books, and is now much more widely available.
Like many ingredients, you will find that depending on the source, the taste and texture might differ slightly, so choose your favourite one. Whichever source you choose, I find that I generally need to sieve it before using it since it is so fine that it has a tendency to form lumps. But do not let this stop you from trying it thinking it’s a faff. This ingredient possesses wonderful qualities and hardly needs any help at all to come to life, meaning that recipes using this flour are very simple – as you can see below.
It is truly delicious and because it has a naturally sweet flavour, I often do not need to sweeten the end result to enjoy it.
And although it has been used for centuries, Chestnut flour gives a contemporary feel to dishes which always surprises me.