Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Roasted Chestnuts

My first experience of roasted chestnuts was at a local winter fair. Team of two, wearing funny costumes in addition to roasting the chestnuts, were doing juggling, whistling holiday tunes. And they were handing out free samples; all to attract the customers. We tried the free sample… surprise, it was not like any nut I tasted until then.
Chestnuts (Marrons)
The first word that came out of my mouth was ‘sweet potato’. Roasted chestnut tasted more like a roasted sweet potato, than a nut. When opened from the shell, they were warm to touch, had a starchy, crumbly texture, a unique sweet smell and buttery sweet taste. We were sold and we bought both roasted chestnuts for the ride home and raw ones to tryout at our home. They also gave us a pamphlet about how to roast chestnuts, different methods and some tips and recipes etc.,

From then on, every winter, we look forward to chestnuts. These winter holiday treats are not that expensive compared to other nuts. 2 dollars something for a pound and few roasted chestnuts fill you good. I am going to leave the cultural significance and nutritional value of roasted chestnuts to the storytellers and experts. I am sure you are going to see many more posts/paeans about chestnuts in future weeks from food blogosphere.:)

Roasting Chestnuts in an Iron Skillet on Stovetop (Almost done)

How we do the roasting: First we make a cut in the shell of chestnut, with a sharp knife. This is to release the steam from inside, which builds up during the roasting process. Otherwise, each one will explode just like pressure cooker whose valve is blocked. So take time and make a cut or a hole in each shell.

Turning them once in a while, roast them in an iron skillet. It’s better to use the skillet that you don’t normally use for regular cooking. Roasting process is not good for the vessel. I accumulated several iron skillets in my quest to find the right one. The brand new one, with no patina, I use it to for roasting not only for chestnuts also for peanuts.

Do the roasting, on medium high heat, for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the shells are all black and cracked. When done to perfection, you can easily open the shell, the chestnut inside is gold in colour and piece of chestnut has rosy hue and sweet to taste.

Roasted Chestnuts (Marrons)
Pure, simple and satisfying – roasted chestnuts on a snowy winter day.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chestnuts (Marrons) (Monday December 12, 2005 at 9:11 am- permalink)
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