LOCATION: New York City, NY
Before I get into my experience with this chestnut, I feel the need to explain WHY this chestnut is presently on my list. Several years ago, actually in 2011, I found myself in NYC during Christmas time. I wanted to see the tree and skate there since I’ve heard the holiday stuff in the city is a great thing to do, which it really is! While there, I saw carts of chestnuts roasted over an open fire. I wanted it, however, for some reason I can’t remember, I did not get my chestnuts roasted over an open fire.
Ever since then, I have wanted them during the holiday time, but have not seen them anywhere else or at the grocery stores locally. Luckily for me, I was going to be in the city to go in the Statue of Liberty Crown so I would get my NYC Chestnuts. I was very excited!
Last time I was in NYC was December 5th 2011. It was a Monday night, and early in the season, therefore, I was able to get relatively close to the tree and holiday décor without many issues. This was not the case this trip.
Anywhere remotely close to the Rockefeller area and I was in a huge standstill of human commotion. Who knew that a Sunday evening could bring out so many people just to see a tree. It was completely chaotic and made me really grateful for the more intimate experience I had a few years back. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, NYC is extremely magical during the holidays. I’m not a big Christmas fan, but something about the city all lit up really puts me in the spirit.
While herding myself amongst the crowds, I found my cart of chestnuts roasted over an open fire. Yes, they do roast the chestnuts over an open fire, however for display purposes they are sitting in a basket roasting over an open lamp. The man explained that to make them, you score an X on the nut and place it in the pan over a fire with some water and butter. Once the shells crack open, they are ready to sit out to dry some.
I bought a small bag of about 15 nuts, which was $5. The shells were a little difficult to remove, but the nuts were warm and soft. They tasted very sweet and not at all what I was imagining; however they were good! By far the farthest I’ve ever traveled just to try a food item. Is it Christmas yet?
WOULD I DO THIS AGAIN: I probably won’t drive up to the city to do this again, but would love to try making on my own someday.