Free 173 Best Homemade Tools eBook:  
Become a founding member: 500+ tool plans, full site access, and more.

User Tag List

Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: Chestnut-peeling shoes - photo

  1. #1
    Jon is online now Jon has agreed the Seller's Terms of Service
    Supporting Member
    Jon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Colorado, USA
    Thanked 28,831 Times in 7,952 Posts

    Chestnut-peeling shoes - photo

    I love chestnuts. They're less common as street food these days, but I remember traveling to New York City around the holidays as a child, and getting them whole roasted from street vendors. These days, my favorite recipe is Whole Braised Chestnuts on page 519 of Julia Child's classic cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking. They're excellent with duck, or ideally, goose.

    But peeling chestnuts is a terrible job, and the pre-peeled jarred chestnuts never match the taste of the fresh ones. Chestnuts have both an outside shell (called a pericarp) and an inside skin (called a pellicle). So, they have to be de-shelled (fairly easy) and then decorticated (horrible fingertip-mangling job). Regarding decortication, Child says: "Peeling off the inside skin is a chore whatever method you adopt". It's also difficult to do without accidentally breaking the chestnut into pieces.

    Maybe I just didn't have the correct tool? Here's a pair of French chestnut decortication shoes. I'm sure my wife wouldn't mind me wearing these shoes in the house:

    Anyone know a better trick? I've tried searching Google Patents for terms like decortication, but I'm not seeing anything good so far. How is this done commercially? I see some chestnut-peeling machines on YouTube, but I wonder if this can be reasonably done with a homemade tool.


    Châtaigne et marron : l'ethnobotanique du Châtaignier — Département de Biologie (English translation)

    173 Best Homemade Tools eBook

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jon For This Useful Post:

    NortonDommi (Aug 21, 2017), Seedtick (Aug 21, 2017)

  3. #2
    Supporting Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Southern tip of Vancouver Island
    Thanked 39 Times in 28 Posts

    peeler spike density

    If these chestnut-peeling shoes do work, then I think any of my mountaineering boots with crampons attached would do as well. They have 10 vertical spikes per shoe. The two front pointing ones wouldn't interfere with the procedure (never tried this, of course!)
    Last edited by volodar; Aug 24, 2017 at 09:23 AM. Reason: detail added

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts