December 15, 2004


I bought some chestnuts the other day not realizing that you couldn't eat them raw. I'd always figured that the whole 'roasted' thing was optional.
(Raw chestnuts taste like cedar chips, incidentally.)

Luckily, a query for 'roasting chesnut' returned exactly what I needed - easy roasting instructions. This part of the recipe particularly intrigued me, "Take your chestnuts and make a cut across the round side of each to keep them from exploding."

So I cut the heck out of those roundsides, stuck 'em in the oven, and waited (as the site says) for my nutmeats to soften. If you cut a little cross into the top of the nut, the edges will curl back during roasting like the slimeflaps of an alien egg sack. Which is a bonus.

After 20 minutes, I removed the roasted nuts, placed them in a towel and squeezed to loosen the shells. I heard some light crackling at first and then POP! My hands seared with pain and I dropped the scalding hot towel.

When I peered inside, I saw that the biggest of the chestnuts had split along its equator and a dark crater had been left at its center. Apparently, I had not scored this giant deeply enough and pressure had built in its core during roasting. When I squeezed it, a plume of superheated nut gas escaped, leaving me with light burns on the palms of my hands.

The nuts were still tasty. But, nonetheless, this is why I don't cook.


Kimmy said...

After the mint incident, this story made me smile even more. =)

goldman said...

To clarify, no mints exploded in the aforementioned incident.