#349: Eat Chestnuts Roasted Over An Open Fire In NYC

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LOCATION: New York City, NY

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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.

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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.

Rockefeller tree

Rockefeller tree

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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.

Holiday window displays in the city

Holiday window displays in the city

Rockefeller tree

Rockefeller tree

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.

Chestnuts

Chestnuts

Without the shell

Without the shell

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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.

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