Ever wonder what happened to the American Chestnut Tree? Once beautiful, majestic and abundant. For thousands of years, the American Chestnut tree thrived in our forests and covered huge tracts of land across the eastern United States. It was said a squirrel could climb a tree on the Atlantic coast and not touch ground until it reached the Mississippi River.
The Chestnut was the dominant tree in America’s eastern forests until an Asian blight wiped them out in the early 1900’s. Until recently, you’d be hard pressed to find a single tree.
Well, we’re bringing ’em back. Introducing the ‘Dunstan’ Chestnut Tree! After decades of crossbreeding, this blight resistant cultivar is here. Be a part of restoring this American tradition for years to come.
Dunstan Chestnuts are the most common chestnut trees in America. These trees combine the excellent nut quality and tree form with guaranteed blight resistance. There has never been an instance of Dunstan Chestnuts dying from the blight. They have been grown successfully from Maine and New York, Illinois and Wisconsin, Texas and Florida. They are excellent for commercial and backyard orchards, and are the best tree to plant for attracting deer and wildlife.
Chestnuts are a delicious and healthy food! They are high in carbohydrates (40%), and very low in fat (2-3%), while other nuts are over 50% fat. Nutritionally, chestnuts are like a “grain that grows on a tree” and similar to wheat and brown rice. Chestnuts contain 5-10% high quality protein, and no cholesterol. Low fat, high carbohydrate diets are recommended by the American Heart and Cancer Associations.
Chestnuts are excellent roasted or steamed (cut an “X” in the point of the nut so the shell splits easily) for 10-15 minutes. Chestnut dressing with turkey is a holiday tradition. They are wonderful in soups, stews, and with vegetables, or in desserts such as pastries, tortes and ice cream. Chestnut flour adds a rich, sweet flavor in cakes, breads, and pasta. Chestnut puree, blended with butter and whipping cream, can be spiced and used with main dishes, or sweetened with honey and topped with sweet whipped cream for the traditional European dessert, “Mont Blanc.”