Its time for the delicious chestnut season! Learn the history of chestnut cultivation and the best ways to enjoy the unique and flavorful nut.
1. Cook Them Your Way
The best part about chestnuts is the plethora of ways you can cook them. Find a cooking method that works for you! Options include boiling, pureed, candied, preserved, or roasting them on a pan. Each cooking method brings out different flavors of the chestnut, so be open to trying multiple ways!
2. Find a Fall Festival That Sells Them
If you have the opportunity, one of the best ways to enjoy chestnuts is fresh from a vendor. Research fall or winter festivals in your area, and be sure to eat them HOT! Chestnuts are best enjoyed warmed while walking around in the chilly air.
3. Learn the History
Chestnuts were originally enjoyed by both poor and rich members of Italian society. Chestnut flour was originally used in polenta before corn. Ancient Romans also enjoyed chestnuts and helped establish their cultivation.
4. Pair Them With the Perfect Wine
Chestnuts go wonderful with wine. The harvest period in Italy has adopted the pairing. Red wines pair the best with chestnuts when they are included in a dish. On their own, chestnuts pair well with sparkling wine in order to cleanse the palate in between each bite.
5. Roast Them Yourself
The most authentic way to enjoy chestnuts, of course, is to “roast them on an open fire”. But how do you actually do this? Stores actually sell pans specifically for chestnut roasting which help circulate the heat throughout the nut. Find a recipe that harvests the flavors of the nut you desire the most.
- Italian Chestnuts [Scordo]
- Castagnata-Italy’s Roasted Chestnuts Festivals [Rossi Writes]
- Roasting Chestnuts: A Guide to the Cherished Italian Holiday Tradition [LA CUCINA ITALIANA]
- What to Drink with Chestnuts? [LA CUCINA ITALIANA]