We have two large malabar chestnut tree that produce for us currently. This species of tree originated in South and Central America and does very well in the Hawaiian climate. The chestnuts themselves come in a large pod. When ripe, they drop from the tree and crack open. Some people bag the pods so they don’t fall on the ground, but the pod is so sturdy and the nuts don’t appear damaged in the fall, it seems a waste of effort. I will say if we don’t get to them fast enough, wild pigs have been known to find their way inside the farm to eat them. Inside the pod itself you’ll find a number of chestnuts. Botanically speaking the Malabar chestnut is not related to any of the other chestnut trees. But their nut is delicious to eat. My husband thinks they are better than macadamia nuts! While the nut can be eaten raw, they taste really good roasted in a little olive oil and sea salt.
Because we like them so much, we have started growing more of the plants. I really like the way the tree looks too. It’s shaped a little different than your regular tree. I hear they can grow quite tall, but there are a number of varieties, and so far our’s isn’t huge. They also produce a beautiful flower as well.