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Friday, October 15, 2010

Chestnuts – Castagna - Friday Fotos – Friday Feature


One of the things I actually enjoy about the cooler months is roasting chestnuts over an open fire.  We are lucky enough to live in an area of Italy where they grow prolifically and many of the local towns and villages hold chestnut festas.  One of our favourites is one of the smaller events which is held locally Zepponami Chestnut Festa 2009  towards the end of the month to which I hope we will be able to go to again this year.

Since moving to Lago di Bolsena last year we now have our own Sweet Chestnut tree in the garden, so we can roast them over our own open fire this winter.  Just like much of our other produce this season the chestnuts this year have produced copious quantities.

This sackful should keep us well supplied.

I have posted this last shot on the photography blog Beautiful World that I participate in today as well.


  1. Beautiful! We were just up at the Palazzo Farnese in Caprarola last Saturday and the trees were bursting with chestnuts! They're quite scary when you hear them dropping - they could hurt if they hit you. I fear it's only a matter of time....

  2. Also in northern Italy (mainly in the Prealpi areas) you can find a lot of chestnut trees and the relevant festas (sagre). In the past (until the 2nd. world war) chestnuts (and polenta) were the basic food of poor people.

  3. Mmmm, I can just smell them roasting now. I love chesnut season.

  4. Chestnuts immediately bring me to Christmas time . . . and some classic holiday songs of roasting and toasting. These photos are so interesting to me, love them. I don't believe I ever realized what they looked like originally ...I have to look up how you prepare them, because now I want to know!

  5. You can have too much of a good thing you know! Just watch your waistline.

  6. Love that last shot.

    Have a great weekend.

  7. Hi! oh one of the fondest memories I have growing up in an Italian household is that of roasting chestnuts. The flavor is incredible. I also have memories of my junior year in college... in France for one semester. I loved buying roasted chestnuts from the street vendors.
    So wonderful...so warm on a chilly day ~
    *happy weekend to you ♥

  8. Ciao, sai io di cognome sono Castagna!!!
    Vieni a trovarmi , ti aspetto.
    Un abbraccio Susy

  9. That last picture is FANTASTIC! Like a basket full of tiny hedgehogs ;-) I love roasted chestnuts, they really do remind me of my childhood and of little paperbags filled with them when it's freezing outside...

    Thanks so much for rating my moodboard, I really appreciate it, I don't think I have much of a chance of winning (We need a new sofa, that's a good motivator to design a great moodboard) but it's still fun to play around like that.

    Dylan is in Trieste this weekend, so I should get a first-hand account of what the weather is like in Italy this weekend and hopefully some Amaretti I've requested, though I'm not holding my breath - like all 12-year olds I'm sure there's something far more pressing he'll have to do/get :-)

    Have a lovely weekend. Love from London x

  10. I'm wondering if in other countries they use to roast chestnut..what about UK?

  11. Hi there LLM!

    You know, that reminds me of a famous Star Trek episode with those little furry creatures multiplying all over the starship!!!! heheh!
    Have a wonderful weekend..

  12. Lazio Explorer - What a great place Palazzo Farnese is and I loved the water features. Chestnuts are not as much as of a shock as when a ripe Persimmon hits you!
    Dona - I think they were staple foods all over Italy especially where the altitude was right for chestnut trees.
    Sarah Elizabeth - The thought of roast chestnuts cooked over the open fire, yes perfect.
    Leanne - My favourite is cooked over an open fire, but there are other ways of cooking them.
    cheshire wife - Oh I don't know about that!
    Unknown Mami - Thanks, mini hedgehogs :)
    Maria - Roast chestnuts from street vendors, definitely part of a winter scene in my memories also.
    Susy Vero?!
    Mademoiselle P - That is exactly what I thought! Fine about the mood board, you have introduced me to a new potentially useful site. As for Dylan I hope he is having better weather in Trieste, raining here since mid afternoon.
    Alessandra - Oh yes we have sweet chestnuts in the Uk as well. :)
    Leesa - Ha, Ha, not being a great fan I do not recall, must ask my husband.

  13. I live in a chestnut forest so it's first come, first serve (for out-of-towners). You live in a garden of Eden....don't tell me you have a persimmon tree too!!!

  14. The bounty from your garden never fails to surprise me. There are very few chestnut trees in the NE part of the US - they were all decimated years ago by disease. There is still one at the top of my street, though, and every year I fill up my pockets and bring them home. I love there rich color and their silky smoothness. (Though I don't enjoy their taste)

  15. I don't like eating chestnuts but I like to see them and catch the aroma of them roasting. Lovely photos.

  16. That basket shot is making my nostrils quiver and mouth water, at the mere thought of the aroma and taste of scorched husks, severed along the middle and fat, crumbly castagna meats...

    Have you ever made Castagnaccio? Here's my recipe.

    E xx

  17. Rowena - Um, yes we do :)
    Pam - What not even roasted over an open fire then dipped in salt?
    Welscakes - A shame you do not like them either, but you are right the aroma is special.
    Eleonora - Well put and thanks for the recipe, I will have to try it out as never made.

  18. Chestnuts are such lovely things aren't they? I remember buying bags of roasted ones from street vendors in England, but you don't find them here in Canada. Or maybe I haven't looked hard enough. Or maybe I should be like you and do it for myself...!

  19. Jennifer - If you have access to fresh sweet chestnuts there is nothing like roasting them over your own open fire :)

  20. Love the pics! My partners family has a piece of land with lots of chestnut trees and this year I wanted to go and pick them, but they said I couldn't since I'm pregnant and there is no actual road leading to this area. His parents went and low and behold this year the trees have not produced chestnuts - or none that were any good anyway! The chestnuts are waiting for me to go and pick them next year!!!

  21. Leanne - How caring they are being towards you, at least you get to eat them or were there absolutely none? We only have one tree which produced better chestnuts this year than last, strange how it varies.


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