Or over hot coals, as the case may be. Chestnut vendors are a common sight during the Portuguese winters — we pass one every Saturday on the street corner just across from the city Market. This vendor had been selling chestnuts at a Christmas fair, and was in the process of breaking down his stand when I snapped this photo. He’s pulling the red hot coals out of his stove and cooling them first on the street stones, then in a bucket of water. The drama of the glowing coals and rising steam was irresistible.
I grew up hearing and singing the words “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire/Jack Frost nipping at your nose” every December, but had never actually tasted a roasted chestnut until moving to Portugal. They’re yummy.