Earlier this year our Australian friend Liselle was leading a tour group in Corsica. After the tour was over she took the opportunity to stay with us for a week, and she brought with her some Corsican chestnut flour as a gift. In the old days chestnut flour was a staple food of the inhabitants of Corsica, and today it is one of the stars of Corsican gastronomy.
The Chestnut has been inextricably linked for at least 5 centuries to the life of the inland villages of Corsica. Today, chestnut growing is an essential component of safeguarding the cultural heritage, mountain economy and the ecology of the area.Chestnut flour is fairly easy to get in France, with most good supermarkets stocking it. I have also bought it at Halles et Champs in Perusson.
Harvested around mid-October and dried slowly, the chestnuts, belonging to several specific varieties, are shelled, then rigorously sorted and selected before being baked in wood-fired ovens and ground into flour. From their ancestral experience, the producers obtain a chestnut flour characterised by its sweetness, fineness and purity, with a smell and taste of dried chestnut and biscuits.