Sunday, November 04, 2007


...they really DO roast chestnuts on an open fire...or on a grill heated with a portable gas tank - whatever. Before we moved to Italy all I knew about chestnuts was what I'd heard Johnny Mathis sing about, then during our first winter here we discovered that roasted chestnuts are everywhere! I have discovered that I don't really like them, but I DO love the idea of them...the idea of people gathered around a warming fire, watching and waiting for the chestnuts to be ready, juggling the hot chestnuts from hand to hand as they try to eat them....well, it's just sort of a whole "It's a Wonderful Life" experience, don' t you think?

On Saturday afternoon we rode down to Marsciano to see a folk group dance at the small shopping center where the grocery store is. We picked up a few supplies, then Art took them to the car while I went in search of the promised performance. That's when I stumbled across the crowd waiting for the next batch of chestnuts to be ready, and I also saw a girl dressed in the period costume I'd seen on the poster.

We asked her when the performance would begin...the poster said 4:30 and of course by now it was close to 5:00. In true Italian style, no one seemed to know! None of the other dancers were there, and no stage or area had been set up for the performance. After a few minutes we decided not to wait...although I'm sure it would have been interesting, it just didn't seem worth standing around for an unknown period of time, waiting and wondering. I know this is Italy, and I know we're retired, but sometimes this oh-so-causal concept of time just doesn't work for us.

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At 11/04/2007 08:54:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hot damn!

The scent of those roasting chestnuts is coming right
through my computer!

Have you read Eric Newby ? Title escapes ,.."A Small House in Italy' maybe,..or Ference Mate : The Hills of Tuscany'? both include great chestnut stories!

Great desserts to be made too!

Grren eyes for you.

At 11/05/2007 07:56:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We visited friends who have a farm in the Abruzzo last weekend and they roasted chestnuts over an open fire - what a treat it was for us. We were told that is the time of year for chestnuts. Our friends also boil chestnuts and some people put them in their oven and broil them. It was the first time we had chestnuts over an open fire and it was a real treat.

At 11/05/2007 09:46:00 AM , Blogger chris & erin said...

the chestnuts are all over firenze as well...i love passing the stands because they smell wonderful and we love to eat them too! Hopefully we'll try to make them at home soon

At 11/06/2007 10:58:00 AM , Anonymous Deb Rountree said...

Oh boy...Another day I wish I was there. I've always wanted to try some of those, hot and roasted. Ummmm! I love the video


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