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 cooks.com for a start and see where that leads!