Friday, 18 September 2009


I love September, even it's rainy days, because they never last long and leave the air smelling of wet leaves. The trees still haven't turned gold and red yet but here on the edge of town pavements are full of beautiful horse chestnuts that fall down in their spikey light green cradles.
I've always admired these shiny gems in beautiful shades of mahogany that feel so perfectly round and smooth in your hand - you just have to pick up a few and put them in your pocket. Unfortunately their beauty fades quickly and soon they get dry, schrivelled and dull...

The European horse chestnuts (Aesculus hippocastanum) are not edible like their forest cousins, European sweet chestnuts (Castanea sativa). The nuts of these trees, also called Spanish chestnutst, are smaller and look like squirrel's ears with little hairs on top. In Europe, autumn is the time for selling roasted chestnuts in the streets, and towns (like my hometown Ljubljana) are full of little wooden huts, where vendors keep themselves warm by poking the coals in their tin ovens and spend their days folding paper cups and making horizontal cuts in nuts, so the shell opens wide once they are done. I used to love picking chestnuts in the woods and eating them roasted or cooked, allthough the most delicious, and the largest chestnuts that are also sold in the streets of Europe, are called maroni and come from Italy. They even have their own Facebook page, if you can believe that!

1 comment:

  1. Wow!
    I didn't know all of that :) (or really any lol)

    I have never tasted roasted chestnuts, I really want to!

    I love the fall!!


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