In Tuscany everybody knows how to roast chestnuts. If you travel to Tuscany in October you have a great opportunity not only to eat chestnuts bought on the streets but also to pick your own raw chestnuts and roast them yourself on open fire!
Moreover, cooking and roasting chestnuts is easy to do at home - on a barbecue in your back garden, in oven or on pan.
In October you can buy roasted chestnuts practically on every big street in Tuscany, Italy. Since roasted chestnuts are best when served hot, roast chestnut sellers cook them right on the streets, on a grill or large roasting tray.
The first time I've tried a roasted chestnut in Italy I was amazed about its taste. It reminded me sweet baked potato but just... different.
In October, when the summer heat is gone and fresh autumn weather really takes over, the teasing aroma of smoke and heat of roasted chestnuts creates a magic atmosphere in Tuscany cities, and you almost can't resist it to buy a small pack of this treasure.
History of Chestnuts
Chestnuts are very ancient nuts known in Italy since prehistoric times. They got brought to Europe from Asia Minor centuries ago, and got spread mainly on the south of France, in Spain and, of course, in Italy.
Although the best Italian chestnuts are grown in Sicily, Tuscany has some great chestnuts to roast and to taste.
However, the biggest fun was roasting Italian chestnuts myself.
So how do you roast chestnuts?
Best way to roast chestnuts is actually cooking over an open fire. You won't need much experience, you'll keep your kitchen clean, and you'll get a lot of fun. You will only need a chestnut roasting pan and a pair of thick gloves.
It is also an ancient European tradition - people get out on picnics in the autumn, particularly in October, and cook chestnuts right on open fire.
You can pick edible chestnuts in a forest, in a park or just buy some in a supermarket. In any case you'll get the most amazing and unforgettable taste when roasting them directly on a fire or on carbon at your home backyard barbecue.
For a photo guide about how to pick, peel and roast chestnuts on a fire or on barbecue click below:
Having made a necessary cross cut on each chestnut I was not very prepared on big and small chestnut explosions... my oven was messed up at the end. But oven roasted chestnuts still came out great!
After that Tuscan people have teached me how to do it right.
Read more about best way of Roasting Chestnuts in the Oven
A specific chestnut roasting pan is the best to use for this purpose but you can still cook some good chestnuts even if you don't have one.
Chestnut pans are easy to buy in Tuscany, Italy in many shops. Alternatively, if you're not planning to visit Tuscany, you can order one online or find one somewhere locally.
For roasting chestnuts on the pan you should prepare a regular or a specific chestnut frying pan, some napkins or a towel and a half-glass of water.
Read more about How to Pan Roast Chestnuts
Sweet chestnuts are the most popular kind of edible chestnuts. Chestnuts are high calorie products - like all the nuts are in general.
However, chestnuts are much lower in fats in comparison with other nuts. Edible chestnuts contain minerals, cellulose, sugars, starch and vitamins A and B group.
Although sweet chestnut contains very little fats - only 5%, it is high in carbohydrates - up to 62%.
Make picking and roasting chestunts a part of your visit to Tuscany in October.
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