As we are reaching the middle of autumn in May (Sydney, Australia – southern hemisphere) another of my favourites is in season “Chestnuts”. The smell of hot roasted Chestnuts always brings me back to my childhood. The highlight of every trip to the city (Basel) was to buy freshly roasted Chestnuts (“Heissi Marroni”) from the street vendor (see picture below).
As the roasted Chestnuts have a nutty and slight sweet taste, it is a favourite for most kids and as well grown ups.
Chestnuts have been part of the staple diet of Southern Europe, Turkey and Asia for centuries, and are now gaining popularity in multi-cultural Australia. The texture of chestnuts is like a firm baked potato, quite unlike other nuts which are crunchy. Source: The Chestnut Growers’ Information Book
Today Chestnuts are prepared and processed in many different ways and forms like purees, frozen, canned etc… In Central Europe Chestnuts are a classical garnish for many game (autumn) dishes (e.g. Venison stew with braised red cabbage and glazed chestnuts). Other dishes and combinations are as well very popular like Chestnut soup, Chestnut pasta, stuffing for birds (e.g. turkey), desserts (e.g. famous Swiss Chestnut Vermicelli dessert served with Meringue, Ice-cream and whipped cream – see picture below).
In South France and North Italy sugar glazed and conserved (candied) Chestnuts “Marron Glace” are very popular during the Christmas season.
You can purchase fresh Chestnuts at your local fruit and vegetable market (April – May) or go Chestnut picking at Kookootonga Nut Farm near Sydney.
For me the best way to prepare and enjoy fresh Chestnuts is by roasting them in the oven.
Try out my recipe, have a go, it tastes delicious!
Just click on the links below to follow:
My Picture Recipe with step-by-step instructions:
Or my Recipe Card with amount and list of ingredients:
Chef & Guide Dog User Martin