Roasted chestnuts were the first course for a beer dinner I attended the other night at the Alamo Drafthouse at the West Oaks Mall, which was pretty cool, but even better is that the event was also attended by Peter Billingsley. They were served with sparkling wine and piping hot when we got them.
My first reaction to being served roasted chestnuts was, "What the hell?" But then I decided, "This is sort of interesting."
Sure, I knew the song. I guess I just figured, for some reason, that roasted chestnuts were something Yankees did during Christmastime. I had never tried one myself.
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It turns out, if you're a first-timer, roasted chestnuts probably aren't what you think they are. Expect something closer to a slightly sweet potato - not a sweet potato, mind you. They have the same consistency as a regular potato, with a little more sweet taste. Frankly, it's pretty weird. Also, be prepared to do some work to get the little nuggets open. It's like working on a really difficult crawfish -- you'll have to decide if it is worth the effort. They're pretty decent while they're warm, though.