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
Are you humming along? It’s hard not too isn’t it?
With only 11 days until Christmas, it seems fitting that today is Roast Chestnuts Day.
Are you a fan? I am, and so is my wife. That delicious smell of roasted chestnuts that infiltrates your nostrils as you peel back the skin to reveal the warm nutty texture – yum!
Roast Chestnuts have been around for donkey’s years, with historians suggesting that the 16th century was the turning point, when nuts were sold by street vendors to anyone wanting a quick and warming snack.
In Portugal, it’s tradition to eat them roasted on Saint Martin’s Day, and in Tuscany on Saint Simon’s Day.
Did you know that chestnuts are nutritious, comparatively low in calories and are a good source of fibre. They are also very rich in vitamin C.
Although they are nuts, they taste very unlike other nuts. The sweet, earthy taste is certainly worth a try if you’ve never had one before – and Roast Chestnuts Day is the perfect time to try that first one.
If you are lucky enough to live near Christmas markets, you are sure to find a chestnut seller on hand.
But it’s not just on the street you can find chestnuts cooking. You can also cook them yourself at home using your conventional kitchen oven. All you need to do is cut a cross into each nut, put them on a roasting tin and bake them until the skins open. They are eaten after peeling away the tough, shiny skin. I like to add a nob of butter and a pinch of salt to mine, but it’s up to you.
So go on, give them try, what’s stopping you?