Roasting Chestnuts on an Open Fire

I love the line in that classic Christmas song that describes the chestnuts roasting on the open fire. Chestnuts are one ofMy chestnuts roasting by our fireplace my favorite nuts and it makes them all the more special in that you can only get them around the winter holidays. Chestnuts are of the beech family and while they grow in America, the ones consumed are mostly shipped over from Europe or Asia. The nut actually grows inside a protective spiny casing which they fall out of when mature. What we see in the stores are the chestnut with its second protective coating, a hard brown shiny husk.

Scoring the chestnutsTo eat a chestnut, you first need to score or cut the husk so that steam from inside can escape, otherwise the nut might explode. My mom always made an “x” on the rounder side of the chestnuts, so that is what I did as well. Just as the song suggested, I opted to roast my chestnuts this Christmas near my open fire.

I scored all of the chestnuts, put them score side up in a roasting/fire-pan and set them near theMy chestnuts roasting by our fireplace flames of our fireplace. Using an oven glove, shake the pan often so as not to burn the nuts. You know when they are done first, by the wonderful nutty smell that will fill your home, and secondly, by the “popping” sound they will make. The edges of the score that you made will begin to curl up and back, also indicating that they are ready.Roasted Chestnuts

Let them cool a bit before handling them. Once they are cool enough to work with, you can begin to peel off the outer husk. Often the inner fuzzy skin will come off with the husk, but sometimes you need to pick at it a bit or rub it off. While it is Removing the huskedible, it tastes better without the fuzzy pieces.

The texture of warm chestnuts almost remind me of the texture found in potatoes. Starchy, firm, yet yielding when chewed. The taste however is sweet, nutty, and earthy.

Perfectly cooked chestnut


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3 responses to “Roasting Chestnuts on an Open Fire”

  1. Judy says :

    We have an abundance of chestnuts here, but our grandson has a tree nut allergy so we aren’t able to use them. However, it sounds like fun and good eating.

    • vermontfarmheart says :

      Oh yum! I hope you use them to trade for something your grandson can eat! We have a ton of currant bushes in our backyard that we trade with our neighbor for her blackberries. That is the nice thing about having fresh foods around – someone will always take them off your hands, and most likely, they have something you would be willing to take in trade!

      • Judy says :

        What a great idea. I have to say I never thought of trading them, but be sure I’ll be seeing if any of my gardener friends want them. Thank you.

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