Oh how I love chestnuts. They taste like fall, and melt sweetness in your mouth.
As I mentioned before, chestnuts littered the windy roads on the way to Due Papaveri. So far, we see them on nearly every sidewalk in Northern Italy.
By the way, the chestnuts in Troy’s reflective photo are wild from Charlotte and Willie’s trees. The images of street-vendor chestnuts below are from the main square in Alba (posts from Alba are yet to come).
Chestnuts grow on trees and can be found between 200-1000 meters above sea level. The trees like sunshine and are often found on rolling hills.
The nuts grow in sharp thorny husks. I mean sharp. Those spines can be relentless, so I recommend thick gloves when gathering them.
Roasting chestnuts is a lovely way to enjoy them. This method is typical of Italian cooking—take extraordinary ingredients (at the height of their season) and cook them in a simple way.
See the recipe tab for roasting instructions—or buy them on the street if you’re lucky enough to have roasters in your city.
Troy and I have been treated to roasted chestnuts after several jovial home cooked meals with our hosts. They are served steamy hot with Passito wine (sweet wine made from grapes aged into raisins). The buttery flavor of the nut comes out to play when chased by Passito.
Chestnuts are also delicious candied, boiled, steamed, grilled or baked—and in both savory and sweet recipes. Try them in rich brothy soup, in your Thanksgiving stuffing, tossed with sautéed brussel sprouts or as a syrupy sweet candy for dessert.
These delicious nuts ooze the holidays.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Troy and I would to take a moment to thank all of you.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for following our blog. Thank you for your comments, and most of all thank you for helping to create a community of food lovers.
We wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving.
See you next week as we launch into harvesting olives…