I have to stop!
Eating chestnuts that is. My friend and tour guide extraordinar sent me a link to a festival being held while visiting. This festival honored the tradition of paper making, (separate blogpost) but promised to have food and my beloved chestnuts…so off I went!
Located in Villa Basilica, over the mountain heading towards Collidi and of course another hill top village itself, I arrived on time which I had been warned would be silly. It was. Only two booths were ready and everyone else was scurrying around getting prepared. I was crushed upon arrival that I had missed most , if not all, the chestnut festivals. But this website mentioned them however so I was thrilled! Sure enough, the first guy I saw was twirling a huge cage of chestnuts roasting oon what would be the only warm spot this afternoon. He seemed to have it easy , sitting drinking vino and turning the handle. Later as the crowd arrived wanting the perfect chestnut he started sweating and saying “almost ready, almost ready”. Meanwhile I strolled around until they were ready…The ladies scooped them into bags as fast as he roasted them and for only 2.50e I was smiling and my hands were warm…only one problem…This was actually an hour later.
While waiting and watching the paper maker , I spotted a chestnut pancake with ricotta cheese freshly baked right before my eyes so I had one (this was my first course), then a lovely lady was making bombolinas with sugar so I tried that too (my second course), but then four ladies taught ME how to make pasta fritta so of course once I turned it over in the hot cauldron and sprinkled with salt I HAD to try it (my third course)… Then a woman had made a cake looking thing out of chestnuts which looked good but actually was not so much (my fourth course)… Total cost for my four course crazy , erratic , no veggie or protein meal except nuts?? drumroll…6 euro…
The problem then was I could not eat more than two of my beloved roasted chestnuts! But hey, my hands were warmed with the hot bag of nuts in my pocket.
I moaned the entire drive home and then walked all around the village in hopes something in my belly would forgive me.
But seriously, I love chestnut time in Tuscany!