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Where to find chestnut flour and other unusual flours

edanna Jan 18, 2008 09:18 AM

I am looking for chestnut flour and kamut flour to make cakes. Also I have started baking my own bread, and I am looking for other kinds of flours such as rye, spelt, buckwheat, ... Does anyone know where I could find these around Mountain View/Palo Alto/San Jose? Whole Foods carries some but not chestnut nor kamut, and they are usually expensive. Trader Joe's has very cheap almond meal. The Indian grocery stores have cheap cracked wheat "flour". But that's all I have been able to find so far.Thank you.

  1. c
    chemchef Jan 18, 2008 09:30 AM

    Not sure about your area, but FWIW, the Pasta Shop on 4th St in Berkeley has chestnut flour, and Rainbow Grocery in SF has just about everything else (its likely they also have chestnut flour, I just don't remember seeing it there.

    Other grocers such as Whole Foods and Berkeley Bowl carry varying assortments of unusual/specialty flours.

    1. s
      SteveG Jan 18, 2008 10:49 AM

      Sorry this won't help much, but there's supposedly a natural foods/vitamins store in the Mountain View/Palo Alto area that's somewhat like Rainbow grocery. I'm thinking maybe Country Sun?

      Just a note on Rainbow: there's a lot of demand among Rainbow customers for wheat alternatives and nut flours to thicken sauces, bake with, and for other uses. That's important because turnover is high, and most of the flours you listed contain fats from the whole grain, which go rancid quickly. Supposedly Trader Joe's carries some nut flours, but I haven't tried them due to the fast decline in quality after they are ground.

      1 Reply
      1. re: SteveG
        edanna Feb 1, 2008 01:12 PM

        I gave Country Sun a visit (440 S California Ave, Palo Alto). They have a selection of flours from Arrowhead Mills, in particular quite a few organic ones, that are kept in a fridge. But not the ones that I really wanted...

        I think so far Andronicos in Los Altos has the best combination of selection, prices and convenient location for me. I will buy kamut and chestnut flour online.

      2. n
        Nancy Berry Jan 18, 2008 10:54 AM

        Try The Milk Pail Market in Mountain View.

        Milk Pail Market
        2585 California St, Mountain View, CA

        1. p
          peachblossom Jan 18, 2008 11:07 AM

          Chestnut flour can be found at Asian grocery stores. I've seen it at Ranch 99

          1 Reply
          1. re: peachblossom
            Nancy Berry Jan 18, 2008 11:10 AM

            Did you see water chestnut flour or chestnut flour or both at Asian grocery stores? I've seen water chestnut flour there, but I don't think that I've seen chestnut flour -- then again, I haven't been looking for it.

          2. j
            jsaimd Jan 18, 2008 12:39 PM

            Can't help with the rye, spelt, kamut flours, but for other non-wheat flours...

            Andronico's carries Dowd and Rogers chestnut flour, but not very cheap It is good though, that is where I get it because that is where we often shop (close to home). I haven't seen it anywhere else, but haven't looked closely at Asian markets. I usually get my rice, sweet rice and tapioca flour at asian markets, and chickpea flour, lentil flours and sometimes millet at Indian markets. Country sun does have a lot too. I get sorghum and millet and buckwheat from Whole Foods but mostly because I haven't found cheaper sources these and shipping has been expensive. Teff I get from Amazon (I have free shipping for them and they carry a bunch of bob's redmill). I have a friend that has a source for white buckwheat which is supposed to be milder and pretty good. I can ask her if you like.

            Oh celiac disease is fun with all the flours you get to try!

            1. JoyM Jan 19, 2008 04:00 PM

              Stangellini's in San Mateo definitely has chestnut flour. I saw it there just the other day, and in fact said to myself, "What do you do with chestnut flour? Hmm. I should remember that they sell it here because someone on Chowhound is bound to be looking for it someday."

              A little further north than you're located, but closer than SF or East Bay.

              Stangelini's Italian Deli
              501 N San Mateo Dr, San Mateo, CA 94401

              3 Replies
              1. re: JoyM
                edanna Jan 21, 2008 10:43 AM

                The recipe that prompted me to look for chestnut flour is a chestnut pound cake recipe from Alice Medrich's "Pure Dessert"book. In fact, I am looking for such odd flours like kamut flour just because of that book, all the recipes I have tried so far are so great. Also, I have a recipe for blueberry-chestnut cake that I have made so far substituting almond flour for chestnut flour that I would like to try in its original form. Chestnut flour also often appears in recipes from Corsica.

                1. re: edanna
                  JoyM Jan 29, 2008 02:20 PM

                  Mmm. Chestnut pound cake sounds good. Is the recipe you have similar to the one at http://laddhillchestnuts.com/lhrecipe...? I want to try it.

                  1. re: JoyM
                    edanna Feb 1, 2008 01:07 PM

                    The recipe I have is a little different: it has buttermilk, dark rum and walnuts besides the obvious ingredients. The proportion of all purpose flour to chestnut flour is the same as in your recipe though. If you are a chestnut person, the book also has recipes for chestnut tuiles, chestnut-walnut meringues, and chestnut and vanilla ice cream squares.

              2. Atomica Jan 19, 2008 04:04 PM

                You've gotten some great answers so far. Depending on what you would be making with almond meal/flour, I warn you against the TJ's version. It's ground *with* the almond skin, which makes for a scratchy feeling in the throat (at least for the cookies I was making with it--never again!). I vastly prefer the almond meal without the skins, which can be mail ordered, of course, or found at Rainbow (large jar in refrigerated section near the bulk pickles and bulk ravioli).

                2 Replies
                1. re: Atomica
                  edanna Jan 21, 2008 10:46 AM

                  I have baked pie crusts, almond filling and cakes with TJ's flour without noticing much difference with the flour ground without the skins. Maybe for delicate cookies like amarettis the difference is noticeable. I will pay attention next time.

                  1. re: edanna
                    Atomica Jan 21, 2008 08:33 PM

                    This is the recipe I most frequently use almond meal in (Sparkle Cookies):

                    The skins also caused the cookies to be drier than they should be (I have made the recipe many, many times).

                2. b
                  billibi Jan 19, 2008 06:43 PM

                  I saw Italian chestnut flour in Draeger's in Menlo Park yesterday. It was with other chestnut products right near the check-out.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: billibi
                    wolfe Jan 19, 2008 07:30 PM

                    Gene Burns this morning talked about a use for chestnut flour.Necci con ricotta e miele, chestnut flour crepes filled with ricotta

                    1. re: wolfe
                      wolfe Jan 20, 2008 07:21 AM

                      BTW this necci has no relationship to the Übermensch.

                    2. re: billibi
                      edanna Jan 21, 2008 10:47 AM

                      Thanks everyone for all the addresses! I have checked Milk Pail (my favorite spot for fruits and cheese), they have spelt and rye. I will check the other addresses for chestnut flour soon.

                    3. s
                      sonomasal Jan 30, 2008 08:25 PM

                      i buy chestnut flour from Girolami Farms in the valley. Order on line. I also order whole chestnuts - better than any you will get in a store.


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: sonomasal
                        Atomica Jan 31, 2008 06:01 AM

                        It looks as though that chestnut flour is made in Italy by Calleris, not made by Girolami Farms.

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