The mere sound of it brings back memories of wintertime walks on New York City streets, where vendors sold brown bags of hot chestnuts. I never did like the taste of them much, but I love the memory. Chestnuts are soft and a bit sweet, unlike other nuts we snack on with a cold drink.
Now, through a rural sustainability program from the United Kingdom called Pro Agricultura, farmers in the Shkrel mountainous region of Albania are using the chestnut as a trial crop to end rural poverty, exporting the nuts to England for sale in London’s Covent Garden district.
So how do you cook them?
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cut slits in flat sides of chestnuts to release steam during cooking.
3. Roast on cookie sheet for approximately 15-20 minutes until tender.
4. Peel nuts while warm – skin and outer layer should peel away easily.
Use chestnuts chopped in stuffing or desserts. The French often candy them for marrons glace.
Did you know?
Chestnut wood is used for making barrels that house aging balsamic vinegar.