Slow Food Saddleback News

Sassafras Chestnuts

An intrepid bunch of would-be chestnut gourmands ventured on the long drive to Sassafras last Sunday to learn all they could about chestnuts.

Sassafras Nuts is about 600m above sea level and has perfect rainfall, temperature and soil to grow these lovely trees. Some trees have been there since the early 80s but owners, Richard and Alison, have reduced the varieties available to just 6 varieties covering early, mid and later season maturing varieties. There are about 1000 trees on 50+ acres as well as some walnuts.

Lustrous chestnuts in their prickly cases.

Our small group was directed to a more secluded part of the property as bus-loads of tourists arrive regularly on weekends.

We also found other fascinating growths.


Richard then spoke with us about the property’ its history and the issues involved in growing his crop, then we also
joined in much chatter over a delicious picnic lunch.

We all enjoyed this beautiful mellow day in fascinating surroundings and travelled home with several kilos of chestnuts as well as lots of recipes and new-found knowledge.