Picking chestnuts in the forest

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It´s autumn again, and the chestnuts are falling down from the trees in the forest. In Italy there is a long tradition for roasting chestnuts over the fire. Actually you´ll find them everywhere around our house.

 

Last Sunday we went to pick as many as we could find together with some friends. The kids loved this activity, and they didn´t want to go home! You kind of get hooked on it yourself, since the search for the biggest ones are really exciting! They hide inside a very sticky shell, and you need to use the feet to open it up.

The wild pig hunter

On the way we met a hunter. He was looking for wild pigs, but could actually tell us that this year the nuts are really small. The warm and dry summer has caused bad conditions for the chestnuts this year. He had also found few pigs in the area, something that makes me happy. I´m always a bit worried to meet them while riding through the bush alone.

In Norway we don´t have this many chestnuts, so for me this tradition is quite unusual. Even in the kindergarden they used to collect them and make a party in the garden. The cakes made of chestnut flour are really tasty. Yesterday I tasted a piece of this kind of cake in the restaurant.

chestnut cake
Typical nut cake

On the way back we discovered some beautiful and toxic mushrooms. I would like to go picking mushrooms this autumn as well, but I will need to find an expert that knows which one to pick! The Italians love mushroom and use it a lot for cooking.

mushroom

When we finally got home my friend made a notch in every nut with a sharp knife. If you don´t make a hole in the hard nutshell before cooking, they`ll explode! And that´s messy! We didn´t have the typical frying pan for nuts, so we just cooked them in the oven. Learn how to cook them the traditional way. After eating some Norwegian waffles we were able to taste them. Not bad, but it´s not really my favourite food!

chestnut

 

 

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