Friday, January 12, 2007

Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

Roasted chestnuts are usually associated with Christmas and the winter season. Although we have not had much of a winter weather this season, you can still get roasted chestnuts from hot dog and pretzel vendors in the city. They are usually available from early November to late January. A $2 bag will yield about 10 to 12 morsels of sweet chestnuts roasted in kosher salt.

Chestnusts are fairly vertatile in that they can be roasted, boiled or candied. They can also be grounded into powder for cakes or pureed into paste for pie fillings. But most often, they are found in turkey stuffing during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

This photo was taken in front of 55th Street and 5th Avenue in Manhattan. The roasted chestnuts and pretzels on the trays are for display only because they have been sitting in the open for hours and exposed to dirt and dust from the street. The vendor has a fresh supply of warm pretzels and chestnuts in the aluminium oven under the display trays.

Do you have a favorite chestnut recipe?