Yes, we continue on our holiday adventure, even on the Thursday Thirteen. If the stores can overload us on Christmas, why can't a simple blog??
1.A Chestnut tree can grow to be twenty to forty feet tall, but the nuts can also fall from a shrub or low lying bush. (Man that sounds kinky)
2.A true Chestnut should not be confused with a horse chestnut (a buckeye) or a water chestnut, since they really are not related, even though the nuts are similiar.
3.Chestnuts are important to the survival of Blue Jays, Squirrels and Pigeons.
4.The nuts can be eaten candied, boiled or roasted; the former are often sold under the French name marrons glacés. Another important use of chestnuts is to be ground into flour, which can then be used to prepare bread, cakes and pasta.
5.The wood of the Sweet Chestnut is most used in small items where durability is important, such as fencing and wooden outdoor cladding ('shingles') for buildings. In Italy, it is also used to make barrels used for aging balsamic.
6.In Jane Eyre, written by Charlotte Bronte, A chestnut tree outside of Thornfield Hall is broken in two by lightning. This foreshadows the impending break-up of Rochester and Jane's marriage. (oops, spoiler alert)
7.Legend has it that the Greek army survived on their stores of chestnuts during their retreat from Asia Minor in 401-399 B.C.
8.The jazz standard April in Paris by Vernon Duke and E.Y. Harburg begins, "April in Paris / Chestnuts in blossom".
10.If you are tempted to eat chestnuts raw, think again. These nuts must be boiled or roasted before eating due to the high levels of tannic acid. The nuts are cured for about a week to permit their starch to develop into sugar, thus sweetening the meat. They must be cooked completely in order to avoid digestive discomfort.
11.Of course, chestnuts are best known at Holiday time for its prominence in The Christmas Song, which was made famous by Nat King Cole, but was actually written by Mel Torme.
13.Okay, hard to come up with 13 things about Chestnuts, so I will just take this chance to mention again the Christmas Card list post from a few days back. Yes I have mentioned it often haven't I?
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