Chestnuts roasting on an open fire

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.

chestnut vendor

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About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
This entry was posted in food, Portugal. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Chestnuts roasting on an open fire

  1. restlessjo says:

    Yes! I love them too. Most recently had some at a September festival in Tavira. Back soon. Expect there might be some left.

  2. xenatuba says:

    Hmmm. We passed them up at the Christmas fairs in Germany. Might have to stop, next time. It does remind me of a bad pun, the tag line of which (after a verrrrry loooonnnng) lead in is “Chess nuts roasting in an open foyer”.

  3. Kylie says:

    Great photo!
    I had roasted chestnuts several years ago–bought them from a vendor on NW 23rd (in Portland). I was a little disappointed.

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