A few months ago, during Festa Junina, I made Quentão with a cachaça from Ypioca, which declared itself a blend of silver cachaças and castanheira. At the time, because the cachaça was so clear, I assumed that this was a wood that acted much like Amendoim do Campo. In other words, a wood that didn’t have much impact on the appearance or flavor of the cachaça.
That was totally not true! In fact, many experts believe that castanheira has many similarities to oak. And so, I walked back that claim. Castanheira is a popular wood. Popular in the sense that it is in danger and can no longer be cut down in Brazil. Yes, today we are looking at another one of those trees.
Yeah, we’re looking at a lot of endangered trees being used to age cachaça here. Although, nowadays, it would be pretty hard to cut down such an endangered species. Legally, that is. I also think that a cachaça producer, a legitimate cachaça producer, probably has to prove that the barrels they’re using came into existence before the ban on cutting these trees down.
Okay, that’s just wishful thinking.
I’d just like to have one week where I don’t have to declare the wood being used to age cachaça is also endangered.
But hey, that’s where we are.
Also, these trees produce great nuts. Brazil nuts. Have you heard of them? And the nuts, in my opinion, provide more value than a barrel. So, if you want to support the planting and use of castanheira, you can do so, but only if you’re eating the nuts.
If you come across a product using this tree, there’s a chance it might not be true. Save your money, and choose from among the many other aged products on the market.