Demand Soars Amid Rising Prices!
SRINAGAR, Nov 21: As winter settles in, the demand for chestnuts, a delicious seasonal dry fruit, has skyrocketed in the Kashmir markets.
Loved for its unique taste and numerous nutritional benefits, chestnuts have become a sought-after treat for both locals and tourists alike.
Medical professionals have also endorsed chestnuts for their potential health benefits, particularly for back pain. This recommendation has further contributed to the surge in demand for this winter delicacy.
A recent market survey conducted by The Kashmir Despatch revealed that sellers in various parts of Kashmir have reported consistently high demand for chestnuts during the winter months. Despite their relatively higher price range, with rates ranging from Rs 800 to 1100 per kilogram for unshelled nuts and Rs 450 to 700 for shelled nuts, people are eager to indulge in this seasonal delight.
Not only have chestnuts captured the hearts of the locals, but they have also become a favorite among tourists visiting the region.
Shabir Ahmad, a chestnut seller in the Srinagar market, shared his observations with The Kashmir Despatch, explaining that tourists are not only purchasing chestnuts for their delectable taste but also buying packs to take back home, impressed by the exceptional quality of this winter delicacy.
Ahmad emphasized that chestnuts possess warming properties, making them an ideal choice for tourists exploring the captivating beauty of Kashmir during the chilly winter months. As a result, the demand from tourists has been steadily increasing year after year.
Mushtaq, a seller in the North Kashmir market, told The Kashmir Despatch, “Thanks to this surge in popularity, we, chestnut sellers across Kashmir, have experienced tremendous success over the years and earned substantial profits from this seasonal dry fruit.”
He said the growing demand for chestnuts serves as a great help for us amid the financial crisis hit markets.
Umreena, a mother of 2 kids and a government employee, shared her experience with chestnuts, saying, “This is really a favorite winter special at my home, and every day I used to purchase this for my family.”
Umreena said, “I personally like chestnuts, and I always enjoy their unique taste.” She further said, “No matter the cost, the taste that one gets from this hardly matters high rates.”
She added that chestnuts are very rich in carbohydrates and contain high quantities of mineral elements like sodium, potassium, and magnesium.
Dealers of this dry fruit explained the complex process of bringing chestnuts to the market, which involves multiple stages from tree acquisition to sale to vendors.
The sweet-tasting, aromatic, and exotic fruit that grows under the floating leaves and drops off when ripe can be scooped out using a net, while the ones that grow on trees are plucked manually.
The chestnut grows in temperate regions and it is believed that the kind of variety which grows in Kashmir was introduced by the British rulers’ centuries ago. China is pertinently the largest producer of Chestnuts in the world. The nut is also grown copiously in Japan.
With chestnuts enriching the winter months in Kashmir, both locals and tourists can savor the warmth and distinct taste of this selectable fruit.
Suhail Khan is a filmmaker, content writer, and freelance journalist.