November 08, 2011

Opening The Chestnut Season in NYC: Vive Marrons!

That's right, just as I was about to agree upon my obsession with the sugary - [only God knows how hygiene they are] - street nuts in NYC, the chestnut season has arrived!

I'm now torn between the two, which all comes down to the basics - non-sweet chestnuts for the main course, sweet roasted sugar nuts - for desert...I'm basically on a 'nut lunch diet', which does NOT save me any money at all.

That reminds me of the days when I lived in Paris, where I've established quite a cozy 'routine' that I called my 'rewards' program: for every French lesson I take, I buy myself a bag of chestnuts.

I rewarded myself for spending 3 hours in a French language class where a very French teacher refused to say anything - [which includes any explanation of any sort] - in English, at the notorious The Alliance française Paris Ile-de-France on 101 boulevard Raspail, just a few blocks away from Les Champs-Elysées de Paris (Champs-Elysees Avenue) and The Arc de Triomphe. So, after my classes, I'd get myself a bag of roasted chestnuts from a street vendor for 1 Euro, who could say 'Hello' in pretty much all languages...By the time I was leaving Paris, I've already found and 'established' certain spots, where the roasted street chestnuts were the best...Yes, I'm THAT obsessed! (Right in front of the entrance to the Jardin des Tuileries from the Concorde side - is another best place to get chestnuts in Paris...but, please, keep it a secret!)

Later in the time I've learned from living and visiting in France and my French friends that chestnuts are very popular in France, so popular that even the traditional Christmas meal does have to have broiled or roasted chestnuts served with a goose or any other 'poultry' they make for the main dish...Not to mention the absolutely delicious and mouth-watering crystallized, glazed, glacé chestnuts, or glacé marrons - candied chestnuts in heavy syrup - [believe me, it's much better than it sounds]...

And don't even get me started on the marron (chestnut) yogarts and paste - this chestnut puree is madness!...

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