It is she, the sublime chestnut, the real protagonist of the autumn season: from the woods to the table, this versatile and nutritious fruit reconciles us with the most genuine nature and traditions.
When some curls fall to the ground and reveal the first chestnuts of the season, I feel I can already smell the scent of roasted chestnuts filling the air. October is a month like this: colours and flavours adapt to the changing climate and, while the woods are tinged with a thousand warm shades, our tables also reaffirm the desire to be together in joy. For this reason, chestnut “gatherings” are organized in each country, to cheer up the autumn Sundays and enjoy the company of friends, perhaps whilst sipping a glass of good red wine.
Once chestnuts were considered "the bread of the poor", also by virtue of their energy-rich pulp and nutritional properties, while today they are used in a thousand dishes of our cuisine, from appetizers to desserts, as they are a versatile, suitable fruit to use in appetizing and unusual recipes.
Toasted in a pan and covered with a veil of cinnamon, added to a delicious autumn soup or boiled in a glass of milk, transformed into cream to fill cakes or, again, crumbled into a sophisticated risotto: from the traditions of our grandmothers to the dishes of the great chefs , the opportunities to use chestnuts as an ingredient are truly endless.
And here in La Darbia, chestnuts are certainly not lacking: we can find them in the large park, where young and old gladly collect them when the season allows. But there is also no shortage on the restaurant table, where chef Monfrinotti prepares them with his enviable talent, within sublime dishes.
Rich in iron and vitamins, potassium and magnesium, chestnuts represent a real food treasure, a simple and tasty source of nutritional properties, an excellent natural tonic. Let's not forget that this wonderful fruit has fed entire generations of farmers and, still today, creates an atmosphere and folklore around it.
As the poet Federico García Lorca says, "chestnuts are the peace of the hearth. Old-time things".