There's a world of difference between chestnuts and horse chestnuts, despite the common confusion between the two. Discover their unique characteristics and how to differentiate them.
What are Chestnuts?
Chestnuts, a delight commonly savored from September to November, are usually found in forests, fields, or orchards. Unlike their horse chestnut counterparts, chestnut shells are brown and enclose multiple fruits. The shells themselves are cloaked in dense spikes, a distinguishable feature from the spaced spikes of horse chestnuts.
Not only are they a scrumptious seasonal treat, but chestnuts also boast a wealth of nutritional benefits. They are rich in fiber, B vitamins, and a variety of minerals, making them a healthy addition to any diet.
What are Horse Chestnuts?
On the other hand, horse chestnuts, more formally known as horse chestnut, are commonly found in city parks and schoolyards. Unlike chestnuts, their green shells have spaced spikes and contain only one shiny fruit. Sadly, the beauty of these chestnuts is deceiving–they are not edible and can cause food poisoning.
As a matter of fact, horse chestnut consumption accounts for 11% of plant poisoning cases. The symptoms one might experience include abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting, which are far from pleasant.
Alternative Uses for Horse Chestnuts
Though not suitable for consumption, horse chestnuts can find their purpose in other ways. They make excellent autumnal decorations, and can look quite enchanting in vases with other fall items. Moreover, for those with a knack for arts and crafts, horse chestnuts can be transformed into various figures using craft materials.