If you'd like to learn about roasting chestnuts on a fire here is a quick photo-guide from the heart of Tuscany, Italy.
My husband and I wanted to make it natural and romantic, and so we knew we had to go to a forest. Luckily, it's an easy deal to find a chestnut forest in Italy, and we had one in mind.
The chestnuts were everywhere - on the trees, on the road, in the grass...
Frankly speaking, the best way to pick and peel chestnuts from their skin full of needles is using gloves. Chestnut needles are sharp and you risk scratching your hands if you don't use them.
However our goal was not to become chestnut picking champions but just to have a small chestnut picnic in the middle of Tuscan nature, so the gloves we left at home...
Even our little daughter helped us picking chestnuts as much as she could.
The hard and sharp chestnut shell is usually half-open by the time they're ripe and fall from a tree, so if you are wondering how to peel chestnuts don't worry - you can remove the sharp shell quite easily (using gloves, of course).
When you are satisfied with your harvest you can start with roasting chestnuts on a fire. Here's our chestnut roasting pic over an open fire.
Roasting chestnuts on an open fire
Grilling chestnuts on bbq in a chestnut pan
So how do you roast chestnuts?
Roast chestnuts in a metal pan until they are cooked, usually from 10 to 20 minutes. Turn them occasionally. Do not over-do chestnut roasting because they will loose the moisture and become hard and dry.
Make sure to keep the flame low. Grilling chestnuts on glowing coals is the best.
The main rule of roasting chestnuts which should be remembered and observed always, is processing a cover of a chestnut before grilling. When heated their shell bursts and damages the nut. Therefore a cover should always be cut on diameter, crosswise or simply pierced in several places.
Peeling chestnuts is easy once a chestnut is cooked. Best way to peel chestnuts is when they're still hot. As they cool off chestnut peeling gets more difficult.
You shall always serve chestnuts hot. Do not leave peeled chestnuts for later. They will loose the taste and dry out.
If you don't know where to get a chestnut roasting pan for your forest or bbq chestnut picnic I've found a few good options for you. There are various models, check them out and enjoy!
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