The fruit can be peeled and eaten raw, but eaten raw it can be somewhat astringent, especially if the pellicle is not removed. Another method of eating the fruit involves roasting (which does not require peeling). Roasting requires … see full wiki
This is the nut for the winter season. As soon as the weather cools, one can find street vendors roasting them on the streets of Hong Kong, Taipei, Shanghai & Beijing. Lovely! Another favorite of mine is Water Chestnut, though technically, that's not a nut but corms of a sledge.