20 January 2010

Chestnuts & Xmas trees

So here are my long-ago promised pictures of chestnuts. These are a local variety that grow around these parts. They are not too big, and they are kind of a mellow-yellow colour inside. I roasted up a few in the oven and really meant to have pictures of them all toasty and golden, but I ate them before I could take a picture. One of the great winter treats around here though is to go to one of the chestnut roasters on the street and buy a cone filled with these fresh roasted wonders.

Here's a picture of the chestnut roaster on one of the corners the week before xmas. If you look closely, you can see a stack of white paper cones to the left of the cart. This is how they serve the chestnuts. You can't see, but on the top of the cart is a metal roasting pan that sits on top of hot coals. Of course, you can't tell from the picture, but the aroma coming from the chestnuts is incredible.

By the way, this is how they sell Xmas trees in Zagreb. About a week before Christmas, trucks arrive from everywhere and deposit Christmas tree vendors on corners throughout the city. They've got trees of all kinds.

You just pick out a tree, pay for it, then a guy (like the one to the right of the picture below), puts your tree through this big tube and wraps the tree in a tight netting so you can carry the tree home.

Yup, for real. You just carry the tree home like this:

It is a great system: first you pick out your tree, then you have it wrapped, then you stop and buy some chestnuts, eat the chestnuts, pop into the coffee shop and have an espresso, then work off the calories from everything while you carry your Christmas tree home.

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