Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What to do with...chestnuts

At the last Cheverly Community Market, Al Pong had some real treasures: gorgeous, juicy Asian pears, lovely plants and...chestnuts. For people who have lived in New York City, the smell of roasting chestnuts embodies the holiday season -- many a child has swooned at the smell emanating from corner vending carts as they get pulled through crowded streets. Personally, I'll always associate this -- one of my favorite odors -- with field trips to Lincoln Center in 5th and 6th grades. Heaven!
Chestnuts have been a treat since the 1450s, when they were eaten in the Piedmont region of Italy. In Louis XIV's court, they were made into marron glace -- glazed, candied chestnuts -- that are still enjoyed today. They're also commonly used in stuffings, preserves, puddings and sauces. Low in fat and calories, chestnuts are the only nuts that contain vitamin C.
There are a lot of great sources of information about chestnuts and some great recipes, too. Try for a start and see where that leads!

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