As a California girl, I grew up singing Christmas carols about roasting chestnuts but never really knew what they were! Well now, living in Piemonte roasting chestnuts has become a reality. Here is what I have learned about chestnuts.
CUNEO IGP CHESTNUTS
Apparently the chestnuts from the foot of the Alps here are especially delicious and were a favorite of the royal Savoy family. As people moved away from the rural and mountainous towns to the cities, the popularity of chestnuts dropped a bit. However, the Festival of Chestnuts in Cuneo has been going on since the 1930s!
HOW DO YOU EAT THEM?
ROASTED: When the weather starts getting cold and you do your Sunday “passeggiata”, you can always find calde arroste or roasted chestnut vendors on the streets. This is the best way, cooked on the fire of copper tins.
BAKED: If you want to make them at home you can bake them on a tray in your oven on max temp
BOIL:If you boil the chestnuts you will get a sweeter taste
USE FOR BAKED GOODS: Often times chestnuts are soft and glazed which are then called Marron Glaces. You can use them in cakes too!
GROUND: A flour can be used from chestnuts to make polenta or even tagliatelle!
WHAT WINE TO PAIR WITH CHESTNUTS
Foggy drizzly grey days, warming yourself up with roasted chestnuts, calls for a rustic red wine. Chestnuts are slightly bitter and are pasty in the mouth so a fizzy red wine like a Lambrusco or Freisa could be perfect! If that is not your thing, you could also try a Dolcetto like Flavio Roddolo 2016.