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Chestnuts roasting on an open fire

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Joful, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    So, I picked up this neat copper and brass chestnut roaster over the summer. Figured I'd try roasting some in the Jotul this fall, and did so this week. First attempt proved you cannot always go by other people's times, when cooking on something as variable as hot coals, when the chestnuts caught fire. Second attempt got them just right, according to one visitor who used to have them frequently.

    Very cool and romantic and all, but the funny thing is that after all that... I decided chestnuts are really not all that good! A funny soft nut, they are, somewhat sweet but not really having that strong a flavor at all.
    BrowningBAR and ScotO like this.

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  2. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Maybe because you found them not so good is why one rarely sees this being done, even though it is supposed to be popular around Christmas time?
  3. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    Interesting you found chestnuts. My father has a few American Chestnut trees on his property, but they usually die after a few years from blight.
  4. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I got them from a retired couple who has a chestnut farm (will post link if anyone's interested, but don't want to be accused of advertising for them on the forum). I don't know that they're American chestnuts, and in fact had always assumed they're not, for the reason you state.

    Cooked up another batch before dinner tonight. Starchy, with the texture of a firm olive. I'm not sure if I'm cooking them right, but the one person I know who's had them in the past, said they're about right to him. Definitely not similar to the smell of roasting peanuts, which I guess is aroma I had in my head when buying them.
  5. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    That's funny. We just roasted yesterday some chestnuts in our stove. I just use an old pie pan for it although I certainly admit it may not be ideal. Except for my little daughter we all love them. They also remind me of the Christmas markets in Germany where we would eat several bags of them and rinse them down with some mulled wine ("Gluehwein"). Great memories.
  6. ispinwool

    ispinwool Member

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    :) I gathered chestnuts once to make chestnut stuffing....the day or two waiting in the fridge was
    eye-opening!! I'd gathered the perfect ones--no holes or blemishes. When I got them
    out to use, the bag was FULL of tiny little white worms and the skins/shells had holes!!!
    I've never had the hankerin' to try chestnut stuffing since-- and the squirrels are happier.
    firebroad likes this.
  7. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I love 'em in stuffing.......not crazy about them roasted on the open fire.

    But I do love Christmas, we're already starting to decorate for it. This is the time of year that memories are made, I still remember a lot of the Christmases of my youth, love seeing my kids have those same memories now.
  8. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    We did this several years back before we had the stove. We also found an antique copper chestnut roaster. I actually enjoyed the chestnuts, though.
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I've had them on the street in NYC and they were tasty.
  10. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    My mother makes them every Christmas, its a tradition, she roasts them and no one eats them. They taste awful and smell awful.
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  11. Boom Stick

    Boom Stick Feeling the Heat

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    love chestnuts, Fresh roasted only.....gotta try and get ones from Italy instead of China...quality is much different......My FIL gets them from his neighbors tree. Love em.
  12. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Well, BAR, if you're ever over my way you'll have to stop in for some and tell me how they are. I hope I'm just roasting them wrong. ;lol

    Had another batch, and maybe they're growing on me. I bought 4 lb., so I'll have many chances to get this right!
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  13. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    We've discovered some chestnut trees around our place and my wife has tried roasting them the other day. She has had mixed results, one batch turning out soft and tasting like dry sweet potatoes or something and another batch more like an actual nut. I'm not crazy about either one, actually.

    She looked them up and thought they were American Sweet Chestnuts but I see they are only in the East. Now I wonder what they are. Everything about them look like what I see on the web about the American Sweets, though. I'm wondering if someone planted them here. We've only seen a few clusters of them.
  14. nola mike

    nola mike Feeling the Heat

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    love me some chestnuts. i throw em in foil, then into the stove, yes, kind f like a sweet potato, but maybe firmer and a bit drier.
  15. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, that sounds kinda like what I recall. Chewy and starchy, maybe reminiscent of day-old french fries. Not horrible, but not something I would go out of my way to prepare, but I have no idea if they were roasted properly.

    How 'bout hickory nuts. . .or acorns? That's what we have here.
  16. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    These recent descriptions, sweet potatoes and day old French fries, tell me I'm cooking them right.

    Acorns? Never heard of anyone desiring to eat them.
  17. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    I guess there is a difference between the american chestnut and the sweet chestnut I remember from Germany. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_chestnut So far, I have only bought them in stores here which according to Wikipedia are likely sweet chestnuts. Maybe that explains some of the disparity in the likes and not (other than personal tastes, of course :) ).
  18. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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  19. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I was convinced there are no American Chestnuts to be had, but I could be wrong. I seem to remember learning that ever since the blight in the 1880's, American Chestnut trees do not grow to sufficient size to produce a useable nut crop. The only nut-producing Chestnut trees I see around here are all of Asian varieties.
  20. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    made the mistake of thinking my friends' tree was the edible variety when I was younger. Horse Chestnuts are horrible.
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  21. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Ours may be some planted Asian variety. I'll have to go look closer. I have heard that there is a hybrid developed that keeps the disease-resistant gene of the Asian's but is otherwise similar to American's. They hope it will re-establish the Chestnut.
  22. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    You are correct. As I mentioned, my father has some American chestnuts on his property. They die off after a few years. They were amazing trees, though. The main beams in my uncles barn are whole chestnut trees.
  23. Realstone

    Realstone Lord of Fire

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    A bit off-topic but how would blight (a microorganism i presume) reach an isolated tree? Surely there must be some that escape and reach maturity.
  24. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    Blight is a fungus which can develop spores that can travel pretty large distances. Nevertheless, according to wikipedia some isolated trees can survive:
    "The fungus is spread by wind-borne ascospores and, over a shorter distance, conidia distributed by rain-splash action. Infection is local in range, so some isolated American chestnuts survive where there is no other tree within 10 km."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chestnut_blight
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  25. Realstone

    Realstone Lord of Fire

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    Well, thank you for that :)

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