While walking around downtown Sunday we couldn't help but notice these spikey balls on the trees and the ground. We asked a couple who was picking them what they were and they told us they were chestnuts. I loved the idea of roasting them on an open fire (like in the song) so we too picked a couple before leaving.
Today was the day we decided to roast them! Having never done it though I did what any logical person would do to prepare for something. I googled the song! :) Realizing that while the song does mention roasting chestnuts it does not actually teach me how to do it I decided to do a little bit more serious research online and I found THIS website. It is great! It told us what to do and how they should look, feel and taste.
We went through all the steps and everything seemed to be going just as the website said it would.
We cracked the pokey shells open and in each one there were 2 or 3 nuts.
They were the perfect shiny brown color they were supposed to be.
They had a flat side. We cut an x into the flat side so they wouldn't explode and even put them in water for about 10 minutes just like the instructions said to.
We kept them moving in the pan over the flame so they wouldn't burn.
Even I took a turn so I could say I personally actually roasted them on an open fire.
The shell began to curl up where we cut our x and they were looking ready to eat!
The boys each took one. I took one. Justin took one. We all peeled our shell off and the nut inside was kind of like the consistency of a potato...again just like the website said it would be.
But then we tasted it. That part was NOT as the website said it would be! YUCK! So bitter!! They were supposed to be sweet and wonderful! How could this be? We did everything correctly! I thought maybe we hadn't cooked them quite long enough. I sent Justin to cook the ones we hadn't opened a little longer and then I went back online to do a little more research...Here was what I found...
And let me show you, once again, the picture of the kind of chestnut we had...
WHOOPS! Yep we were eating the one that has the big giant poisonous skull and crossbones on it! I couldn't help but just laugh as I got Justin and brought him in to see what I had discovered! I couldn't find anything that said how dangerous it was to eat them so we decided to call poison control to be safe.
That was the funniest conversation I have heard in a long time! "So let me get this straight...you fed your small children something you found on the ground based on what a stranger told you downtown?" LOL! The good news is we should all survive our stupidity :)
Fun Fact...there are about 75 cases reported of people eating this particular kind of chestnuts...I bet we met one of those 75 the other day downtown :)