One of Corsica’s largest crops is the chestnut. As such, they feature prominently in dishes both sweet (cakes, candied chestnuts) and savory (various breads, a type of “polenta”), as well as in the local liqueurs. Much of the chestnut harvest is dried and ground into flour, which has been granted a.o.c. status. Another Corsican chestnut-based treat with the privileged status is honey.
The stuff is, quite frankly, wonderful. It has a rich, nutty aroma with floral undertones, all of which carry through on the palate. I’ve been using it to sweeten my green tea, but I’m trying to come up with a recipe that will feature it more prominently. (My first meeting with chestnut honey was years ago, when I used it in an orange pâte de fruits – a sort of jelly candy – for the restaurant where I worked. It was one of my (and the chef’s) favorite flavors of jelly, so I made a lot of them, though now that I think about it, I haven’t laid so much as a taste bud on it since then. But the reunion is going well, like when you run into an old friend and discover that nothing has changed – you can still talk for hours with no awkward silences.)
I also love the artwork on the jar. The bee is dwarfed by the gigantic, hairy chestnut, and it looks as though he is going to have to battle it in order to get to the sweet flower. A battle that is well worth it, in my book.
Originally published on Croque-Camille.