Roasted chestnuts. Here in Spain they go hand in hand with Christmas. Starting the end of November small chestnut stands start appearing all over the city and the smell carries for blocks. A week or so later the Christmas lights go up in the city and you know Christmas is getting close.
Since I moved to Spain I have loved the smell of the roasting chestnuts but I had never tried them until last week. The tourism council was promoting the annual Feria de Navidad (Christmas Fair) and handing out free tickets along with hot roasted chestnuts last weekend. I’m all about free things so this was my perfect opportunity to try the castañas. We promptly took them home and cracked them right open and they were delicious! I don’t know why I had waited so long to trust my nose…it had never let me down in the past!
Since then I’ve been back to the castañero and they only get better each time. If you’ve never had them before they kind of taste like big toasted pine nuts but creamier. I think they would be paired perfectly with a glass of red wine as a nice little afternoon merienda (afternoon snack). And at only 2 euros a dozen it’s a treat that even in these economic times can be spared!
Have you ever tried roasted chestnuts before? What are some signs of Christmas where you live?