We had a picnic under this tree the other day
We didn’t realise what tree it was until we saw these…
and thanks to Malcolm’s library session, we learned that these are chestnuts!
and I have never really seen a chestnut with its shell. This is actually the inner shell. There is another outer spiny shell which split open before these were dispersed onto the ground.
and it was only then, a sudden realisation that Chestnuts = Gau Luk (in hokkein)
YES! my favourite nuts used for braised pork (Lou Bak) and my rice dumplings (Bak Zhang) !
the one that I had so much problem finding when we were in the States but now, they were littered everywhere! In the parks, along the streets, all over PARIS!
HOW COULD I HAVE MISS IT !
and how could I not collect some home for cooking ?!
SO WE DID!
We brought a handful back. Washed them and tossed them into the oven.
I felt so smart and pleased thinking that we could soon get to enjoy our homemade Gau Luk just like those sold at pasar malem stalls back home.
My sense of nostalgia was interrupted by a loud boom from the kitchen.
One of the nuts EXPLODED.
We took a bite of the flaky cooked chestnut and
EWWWWW….EEEEKS ! They tasted terribly BITTER AND SOUR!
We had to wash and gargle our mouths with water for several times and chew a mint to get rid of the after taste.
Till now, it is still a mystery why those chestnuts tasted so horrible and I am just glad we didn’t end up with some kind of food poisoning !
Note : We found out that the nuts need to be pierced through before putting into the over to prevent explosion.0