There are several varieties of chestnuts in cultivation around the world. The most popular variety used in the USA is the sweet chestnut of Europe known as “castanea sativa”. This variety flourishes in many areas of the Meditereannean basin, and grow particularly well in many regions in Italy. The flesh of the chestnut is creamy white and covered by a tightly adhering, papery skin. The nut and skin are coverd by a brown, somewhat pliable shell. Chestnuts can be roasted, boiled, baked or dried and ground into flour. Be sure to score the shell with a knife before cooking to avoid explosion of the nut.