Tastemakers: Croft Chestnuts/Northern Michigan Red Wine
Rick Coates 10/19/09
In 1904, diseased Asian chestnut trees were planted in New York City, resulting in the destruction of the American chestnut industry. Only a few groves of trees out west survived. For the past 100 years most of the chestnuts sold in America have been imported.
But now American farmers are trying to revitalize the chestnut industry including Croft Orchards of the Old Mission Peninsula. According to Ella Cooper-Froehlich, project manager the orchards at Croft LLC, We are seeing a resurgence in this industry and we have 1,600 trees collectively at three locations in the area. We started harvesting this past weekend and we have orders to fill all over the country.
According to Froehlich: Chestnuts are a delicious health food rich in nutrition. Just a handful of other foods can match the nutritional value of a chestnut. As opposed to most other nuts, chestnuts have a high water content and very little oil, thus making them virtually fat free. They are high in complex carbohydrates, contain high quality protein comparable to eggs, but are gluten free, cholesterol free, and are very low in fat (1-2 percent while other nuts can be over 50 percent fat).