Frank Granieri – Roasting Chestnuts

Frank Granieri

Roasting Chestnuts 

Frank’s Thoughts on Growin’ Up Italian


What memories do you have regarding Chestnuts? We love them in our house. I take just enough for us to eat at that sitting. They are not as good in my opinion once they get cold. 


Castagne Chestnuts over an open fire


I recall chestnuts in Italy served in a cone by the Spanish Steps. In New York’s Time Square during the holidays and in Philadelphia during the New Years Mummers parade years ago. There is just something about the idea of Chestnuts roasting on an open fire as the song goes. 


Castagne (Chestnuts) with the necessary slice in them as they are roasting


I also recall having them at our house on Thanksgiving. I take a knife and slice the chestnut across the grain from one end to the other. Then I put them in simmering salted water to soften a little and add back some moisture. After that they go into a preheated oven for another 15 or so minutes. Take them out and let them cool under a cloth. Peel and serve with a cut apple and some chilled red wine…. OMG ….



Castagne (Chestnuts) ready to eat


I just love ’em that way. 

My grandmother used to make what the Aussie’s or Brits would call Pasty’s in their cultures. Ours were stuffed with Chestnuts when I was little in Glenside, Pennsylvania. They were delicious. 


Chestnuts (Castagne) in a cone by the Spanish Steps


Just recently I attended a Chestnut (Castagne) festival in southern Italy where everything pretty much was made out of Chestnuts. Even the Gelato stand… they had a sign “you can have any flavor gelato you would like …. as long as its Chestnut! Too Funny.



Delicious Chestnuts – (Castagne)

All that said I am a Chestnut  person. Do them up as I mentioned above and eat with a cut and salted apple and a chilled glass of red wine and Oh My God they are simply delicious. Sometimes we even serve them with a fig stuffed with an almond and put into the oven with the chestnuts.





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