Organic Collection's chestnuts are from the Ardeche, the most famous chestnut area in Europe, gathered from over ninety organic growers and co-ops. Chestnut trees require an acidic and chalk-free soil and grow best at a slight altitude. The Ardeche provides optimum conditions and Chestnut trees were planted here as far back as Roman times although the modern groves date back to the middle ages - when chestnuts were a vital winter food and commonly known as arbre a pain (bread tree), with chestnuts in flour, soups and dishes.
The chestnuts are harvested and processed only once a year during the autumn with the harvest occurring in stages across the province depending on latitude and altitude. We use several different chestnut varieties which are cooked whole on a fire with the outer skin removed by hand, after which the chestnut is placed in boiling water and the inner skin removed with jet sprays - an essentially artisanal process that aims to preserve the nutritional and taste qualities of the chestnut.