Water chestnuts have a slightly sweet, nutty flavor and crisp texture similar to apples or jicama. Unpeeled, the water chestnuts are small, round and dark brown in color. Water chestnuts texture make it a popular ingredient in many Asian dishes. Water chestnuts are available fresh or in cans.

Somewhat confusing, the water caltrop, is also known as a water chestnut. The water caltrop has a very similar texture, but cannot be eaten raw like the other water chestnut.