Eaten Chestnuts (328/366)

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose, Yuletide carols being sung by a choir, and folks dressed up like eskimos …”
~ The Christmas Song, written by Mel Tormé and Bob Wells


Our friend Laurie loves chestnuts.  I’m not sure how she likes to eat them, or if she just likes the flavor and it doesn’t matter what form they take – we made her a chestnut cake for her birthday a few years back, made with this imported chestnut puree – so yes, technically I’ve had ground up chestnuts before, but all I tasted was sweet paste in the finished cake form that we made.  I had no idea if it was “good” or not from a chestnut-lovers perspective.  But Laurie said she liked it – and it was a cake, and it was sweet – so I figured it passed.

To be perfectly honest, and this was the case with that chestnut puree as well (starchy, beige-brown spread), chestnuts look kind of unappetizing to me.  The whole nuts look like shriveled little brains or something – granted, walnuts look almost exactly like little brains, but I guess they were more common to me growing up, so I was more used to them.  Some people grow up eating kumquats too, and I just had my first one this year.  Cut me some slack!  Seriously – does that look that appetizing to you?

But tonight at Nick’s family’s Thanksgiving dinner, two of our family members put chestnuts in their dishes – one in the stuffing, and one in the brussels sprouts with bacon.  I decided if not just one, but two different family members chose to put chestnuts in their dishes, there had to be something about them.  So, I got a couple of the shriveled brown brains for my plate.  Like I said in my post about trying chicken liver,

“There are times when something you’re totally not excited about and expect to taste weird and gross, surprises you – and you really love it.”

And this time … I DID!  Chestnuts are freaking wonderful!  Dense, but somewhat chewy, rich, meaty, and just darn good – and as you chew, the chestnut breaks down into almost like a marzipan consistency.  Delicious!  I am SO happy I got to try these tonight.  Just in time for the Holidays, I am now a lover of chestnuts!  Now that I’ve had them in these preparations, I’m excited to try them roasted (maybe on an open fire?)!

Related Links:
The American Chestnut Foundation

One Response to “Eaten Chestnuts (328/366)”
  1. Ying says:

    I tasted my first chestnuts from an outdoor vending cart in Chicago during Christmas many years ago…almost as good as roasted on an open fire…they were delicious! Glad you discovered them sooner than I did.

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