The twelve days of Christmas 7: Chestnuts

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose…

Evocative as the old song is, that first phrase hides a wealth of frustrations; chestnuts, it turns out every year, are not all that easy to roast on an open fire. Based on my own experiences this winter, here’s a quick breakdown of what you actually end up with…

  • 5% healthy chestnuts done to a turn
  • 10% empty shells – I’m not sure how this is actually possible. I’m pretty sure it’s a conspiracy of some sort.
  • 40% mouldy, dried up or otherwise defective
  • 25% burnt to a crisp
  • 20% underdone
  • 5% somehow both burnt to a crisp and underdone

And after all that, it turns out every time that even a perfectly cooked chestnut is actually quite odd-tasting and not all that nice. Still (as with turkish delight) there’s something very nostalgic about them, perhaps due to the year that has inevitably elapsed since the last time you ate them; they’re one of those things that’s more fun to miss than to actually have.

On that poignant note, I’ll leave you til next year. Enjoy the remaining hours of 2014, and drink responsibly!



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