“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose………” For me, chestnuts are pretty much synonymous with “The Christmas Song” and Nat King Cole. I didn’t actually taste a roasted chestnut until I was in my 20s on assignment in Tirana, Albania, where they were being sold by street vendors. As soon as I’d peeled one open and tasted the faintly sweet, faintly earthy meat inside, I was hooked. I also have happy memories of buying roasted chestnuts in rolled newspaper cones from street vendors in Germany and eating them with my husband when we first dating.Chestnuts are incredibly delicious, and one of those nuts (like pistachios) that is also an “activity” to eat because you typically shell it yourself.
The “recipe,” if you can call it that, is three simple steps.
1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2) Using a sharp paring knife, slice an “X” into the flat side of each nut. Be sure to penetrate through the entire skin or they’ll be difficult to peel later.
3) Spread nuts on a cookie sheet or shallow baking pan, cut side up, and bake for 30 minutes.
Be prepared to peel and eat these immediately. They are best eaten within 20-25 minutes after they are taken out of the oven. They will toughen as they cool.