How can we distinguish horse chestnuts from sweet chestnuts? Chestnut trees are tall, with American and Spanish chestnuts attaining over 100 feet in height, and have spreading canopies. The only edible for consumption chestnuts i know of are from the American Chestnut Tree. In general, toxic horse chestnuts should not be consumed by people, horses or other livestock. They resemble edible chestnuts but are, in fact, TOXIC. Erin Lizotte, Michigan State University Extension - If you are purchasing chestnuts from a roadside market, be sure to ask if they have been cured. Chestnut (noun) used in names of trees and plants that are related to the sweet chestnut, or produce similar nuts or edible parts that resemble them, e.g. The spines are long and fine. These nuts are safe for you or a horse to eat. If nuts are frozen, use them immediately after thawing. The horse chestnut tree is one of the symbols of Kyiv - the capital of Ukraine and 8th largest city in Europe. Almost all the chestnut trees in Louisville currently are Chinese chestnuts, including a large collection at Cave Hill Cemetery, and several groupings at Bernheim. Horse chestnut leaves are much larger than buckeyes or American chestnuts. Conkers (the nuts from the horse chestnut tree) are not edible, so individuals should take care not to confuse them with chestnuts. These are edible chestnuts with little tails tapering off at the bottom of the nut. I did some research for ya and have found multiple sites where people have observed deer and squirrels eating Horse Chestnuts that have fallen from there trees. Chestnut (and horse chestnut) trees are deciduous, shedding their leaves in Autumn (Fall). Scroll through the photos below to see a complete side by side comparison. Chestnuts may be roasted in the oven, over a fire or even in the microwave. Cooked nuts should be tender, sweet and peel easily. Horse chestnuts feature large, palmate leaves, grouped in arrangements of 5 to 7 leaflets. Horsechestnuts are edible for many animals and are fed to horses and other livestock. Chestnuts vs. Other Nuts. Chestnut (adjective) into a piece of cloth. What do horse chestnuts taste like? However, it’s beneficial to have an in-depth knowledge of horses, just in case you have to answer your child’s questions. Problem is, most grocers do not refrigerate them. Photo: Fir0002 and Solipsist, Wikimedia Commons. Chestnut (noun) edible nut of any of various chestnut trees of the genus Castanea. The only edible for consumption chestnuts i know of are from the American Chestnut Tree. The horse chestnut tree isn’t even related to the sweet chestnut tree, which produces the edible seed often roasted as a fireside treat around Christmas. Edible chestnuts belong to the genus Castanea and are enclosed in sharp, spine-covered burs. The toxic, inedible horse chestnuts have a fleshy, bumpy husk with a wart-covered appearance. Horse chestnuts are definitely unsafe. There are different types of both horse chestnut and buckeye trees too: Horse Chestnut Varieties. Chestnut (noun) short for horse chestnut. When I’m referring to chestnuts below I mean horse chestnuts. The toxic horse chestnut is rounded and smooth with no point or tassel. If you are collecting at a u-pick operation, it will be necessary for you to cure them yourself. They’re in the beech family (Fagaceae). Smaller quantities are available peeled and frozen or in value-added forms like chips, flour and slices. One thing we need to understand is that chestnuts are sweet and they are edible but conkers or horse chestnuts are poisonous, and they are not for eating purposes. Luckily it’s quite easy to tell a chestnut and conker apart. Sweet chestnuts are encased in a spiny looking ball while the outer coating of a horse chestnut looks like bumpy leather. Do not confuse the Sweet Chestnut with the Horse Chestnut, an inedible nut that belongs to the soap tree family. It contains two to three nuts at a time, which are fairly small, flattened and triangular; Horse chestnut cupules are thick and green, with small, short, wider spaced spikes, and generally contain only one larger rounded nut. Chestnuts Roasted on an Open Fire, in the Oven, in the Microwave, Steamed, or Boiled. Horse chestnut, or Aesculus hippocastanum, is a tree native to the Balkan Peninsula.. This longer, refrigerated curing process will increase their storability. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. There are generally three or four nuts to a casing. Okay, not my first choice of tree, but if that's what he wants. Chestnuts (left), edible; horse chestnuts (right), poisonous. 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