Sunday, February 17, 2008

Chestnut puree

Delicious doesn't even start to cover it. The delights of the chestnut: this northern-hemisphere, old-growth forest, autumn-leaved treat. I remember during a frosty November in the south of France, the village grey and bare, the grapevines like clutching naked fingers, taking freshly-gathered chestnuts from their tinfoil packages in the coals of the fire. We sprinkled them with salt and ate them hot, wrapping ourselves in blankets.
Vendors on the streets of Paris sell freshly-roasted chestnuts from their little charcoal grills. You can buy a small bagful for a few euros: piping hot and dense.
My personal favourite still is the French-made, imported, vanilla-flavoured, sweetened puree that comes in a can. You can buy it at Spoon Deli at the James St Markets in Fortitude Valley. Alternatively, there's the Bonne Maman variety (labelled Chestnut Cream) which is much cheaper but not as delicious.
The French often eat their puree with unsweetened butter on a slice of baguette, dipped in coffee or chocolate.
I also love sweet chestnut puree on a slice of untoasted thick seeded bread, like a capeseed loaf.

No comments: