Savoring the Chestnut
What to Cook
Chestnuts evoke more nostalgia than any other nut, which is odd considering most of us have never eaten, cracked or roasted one. The drift between our cultural memory and actual experience is rooted in the American landscape. Chestnut trees once swelled the nation’s forest. Then fungal blight (see page 9) nearly destroyed our chestnut tree population, leaving us longing for a fragrance and flavor few of us know.
Let’s remedy that. I fell in love with chestnuts while living in France. There, as in Italy, sweet, soft chestnut meat is a familiar taste and texture. For those new to chestnuts, I offer here a traditional French holiday dessert and a new take on Brussels sprouts with bacon.