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.


Italy uses what they call denominations to identify high quality products connected to a delimited geographic area. IGP is the equivalent of a wine DOC. I live in the province of Cuneo whose capital city is named the same.

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!


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!

If you are interested in trying some of these chestnuts products, let us know and we can put together a package for you including baked goods, honey and spreads. Just write us an email at info@barolowineclub.com


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.