Chestnut Info

History of Chestnuts

History

Australian Chestnuts are unusual in that the crop falls naturally to the ground when mature.

Growers need to harvest the Chestnuts within two days of them falling. The prickly burrs are vacuumed, swept or picked up by gloved hands, the outside casing is removed, to release 2-3 glossy brown Chestnuts that are then graded by variety into seven sizes (ranging from 20 mm to 41 mm in diameter), washed ready for sale.

75% of Australian Chestnuts are grown in the Alpine Region of North East Victoria around the townships of Beechworth, Stanley, Bright, Mt Beauty, Wandiligong and Myrtleford.  Chestnuts are also grown east of Melbourne. The remaining crops are grown in regions of NSW including Batlow, Orange, Tenterfield and the Southern Tablelands. The Adelaide Hills, South West Western Australia and North West Tasmania are also growing areas.

Chestnuts were first introduced to Australia by migrants during the 1850’s gold rush. The arrival of Greek and Italian immigrants after World War II saw plantings increase. The commercial Chestnut industry has been established since the 1970’s and there are approximately 300 Chestnut growers across Australia.

Where are chestnuts grown grown in Australia?

Production & Seasons

Australia produces approximately 1,200 tonnes of fresh Chestnuts per season. Australian Chestnuts are available from mid-March to July.

 

Varieties

  • Buffalo Queen – an early season nut, better boiled than roasted
  • Bouche de Betizac – a large early season nut, sweet flavour, easy to peel.
  • Red Spanish – a large Japanese style nut, best boiled or steamed.
  • De Coppi Marone – mid to late season nut, the best roasting nut. easy to peel with a rich sweet flavour.
  • Purtons Pride – late season sweet Chestnut, easy to peel. Great roasted, boiled or steamed. Versatile all-purpose nut.