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Old 12-02-2007, 07:27 PM   #1
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Roasting Chestnuts?

Lou and I took a trip into the city yesterday to see the tree at Rockefeller Center last night. As we continued to walk along 5th ave., gazing at the christmas windows, I spied a chestnut vendor! I haven't seen a chestnut vendor in the city in 20 years. Could be I've been missing them, or could be they hang around where all the really big money is.... Either way, for 3 bucks, we got 8 perfectly roasted chestnuts. ...I know, inflation....

The shells were pre cut, and peeling was a cinch. In fact, the peeling process was the easiest I'd ever encountered in my life. I was tempted to return to the cart to ask him how he prepared them.

Normally, I cut and roast my chestnuts in a 350 oven for half an hour. The meat is nice and tender, but it does take a bit of an effort to get the shells off in one or two pieces. I've heard that some people boil the nuts. I tried this, but with not overmuch success.

How do you prepare your chestnuts, and what are your typical results.

And...the tree was beautiful. It's actually a 'green' tree this year. The lights are powered by LED panels on top of the surrounding buildings. It was breathtaking.


How can we sleep while our beds are burning???
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Old 12-02-2007, 08:13 PM   #2
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I remember you need to cut an x on a certain part before roasting them but they were still hard to peel.I read in the news the other day that the chestnut trees are dying in America I hope thats not true they are soo hard to get as it is.I remember in Germany as a kid they were everywhere.I wish I had a chestnut tree I remember them being so abundant that people would feed the deer with them in the winter

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Old 12-02-2007, 08:23 PM   #3
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I cut an X in the bottom before roasting too. The shells always come off very easily, aside from a few stubborn ones.
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Old 12-02-2007, 09:39 PM   #4
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I cut an x as well, roast at 350 about 30 minutes..Most of the shells come off easy..

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Old 12-03-2007, 12:08 AM   #5
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vb, i've seen many carts around the city that sell roasted chestnuts. usually they're also hawking hot pretzels. they're on smaller carts, with a charcoal grill. not the giant halal gyro/dirty water dog carts.

there's one or two just outside the port authority. also near rock center as you saw, down broadway and down 5th, and times square.

just follow your nose to the smell of the charcoal.

we're going in to see the tree and then hit up chinatown/little italy this week. i can't wait!
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Old 12-03-2007, 04:08 AM   #6
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We just got home from a weekend in Budapest and I'm already missing that lovely smell of roasted chestnuts! Street vendors were all over the city center, something I haven't seen anywhere else!
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Old 12-03-2007, 04:53 AM   #7
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I think you can get roasted chestnuts in Bath RK, but I have NEVER seen them in Bristol. Parts of London too....they are wonderful. Much more common on the continent though...its a transgression of British ettiquette to eat on the street, though you'd barely know it now! $3 for 8 chestnuts though???? I finally found something WAY cheaper here! When you can find a vendor you'd get a little paper bag brimming with them. In Milan they are in the centre of the city pretty constantly when the weather is grim....its a wonderful, wonderful small.

At home.....DGH does it. He has a special chestnut roasting pan, he makes the crosses I think, and he peels them afterwards for me.
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Old 12-03-2007, 06:16 AM   #8
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I do the X thing also. We usually roast them in the fireplace when the embers are dying down.
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Old 12-03-2007, 06:54 AM   #9
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Do you need to add oil or anything to roast chestnuts?
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Old 12-03-2007, 07:47 AM   #10
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I don't add anything at all Elaine.

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