Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #58-The Chestnut One/Express 13


Thirteen Things about Chestnuts


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 glac├ęs. 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".

9.

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.

12.

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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26 comments:

Wylie Kinson said...

Who knew chestnuts could be so interesting!
And Mel Torme? Cool fact.
Now I'll have that song in my head all night ;)

Dane Bramage said...

I'll have you know that as a lifelong resident of Ohio, I would never confuse a lowly chestnut with the majestic Buckeye!

Well it’s TT #60 for me this week. 13 Things I Want For Christmas But Will Never Get!

Stop by and add something to the list!

pussreboots said...

I love Nat King Cole's version of the song. Happy TT.

Nicholas said...

I never knew Mel Torme wrote that. You learn something every day!

Robin said...

I love chestnuts. I have an awesome recipe for what I can only describe as a gourmet meat loaf (it tastes a lot better than it sounds - baked in a crust and everything) with whole chestnuts baked into it. Hey, that reminds me, I haven't made it since last winter...

Tilly Greene said...

Christmas means carts on the streets with chestnuts roasting, beautiful smell, especially when it's cold!

I forgot about emailing for a card, thank you for the reminder - sending an email now :-)

SusieJ said...

Chestnuts are one thing I have never tried.... maybe this is the year!

Sassy Lucy said...

Interesting I learned so much, and I took a little of you to my T13 today, so stop by later to see :)

Matt-Man said...

You really know your nuts. Cheers!!

MissMargo said...

This is my chestnut fact:

The vast majority of American Chestnut trees (native species to the continent) grew in the Eastern part of the U.S. In the 1800's the vast majority of those trees were wiped out by some sort of asian beetle infestation.

The American Chestnut is all but extinct in the US save for one grove of the trees that lives in...NEBRASKA! The pests never made it into Nebraska, so the trees still live today!

The Morton famiy (of Morton Salt) brought Chestnuts to Nebraska and planted them in their famous Arboretum.

:)

tanabata said...

Very interesting! And now I have 'Chestnuts roasting..' stuck in my head! ;)

Darla said...

The only thing I knew about chestnuts before reading this was that my grandparents for some reason had a bucket full of dried chestnuts on their sun porch that I used to play with when I was really little.

the108 said...

Low lying bush...LOL.

FRIGGA said...

I don't think I've ever had a Chestnut... certainly not one that was roasted over an open fire - Happy TT :P

Rachel said...

Who knew that chestnuts were so fascinating? You are a riot!!
Thanks for stopping in a visiting my TT. :-) This is a blast!
Those were great and very informative.
Love the song!!!

MondaythroughSunday said...

Very interesting! Tannic acid..Cyprus trees also give off tannic acid and turn water a tea like color...Thanks again..always good to learn something new! Merry Christmas!

Denise Patrick said...

What a great list. I learned something today about chestnuts. Thanks.

Happy TT!

jehara said...

so where do they grow? i like informative lists. great job. happy tt. :)

Carrie Lofty said...

I had NO idea!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I'm still not sure if I'm brave enough to try a chestnut... Not sure what's up with that; I eat alligator and rattlesnake, for crying out loud!

Happy TT, Duck!

Bond said...

You know your nuts...just stay away from mine...hehehehehe liked this lesson Sparky

The Gal Herself said...

Love #6. Spoiler alert! Sparkela, you crack me up.

Joely Sue Burkhart said...

I don't think I've ever tasted a chestnut. Cool list! Joely

pissed off patricia said...

And they add the word "delicious" to turkey stuffing.

Jenny McB said...

Another non chestnut eater here...sounds so Victorian though, roasted chestnuts from a street vendor and all that.

And I just say that I would rather be a tacky Xmas sweater than a losing lottery ticket for a gift?
Have a good weekend! Get ready for the big n'oreasta....

Twyla said...

My ex in-laws had HUGE chestnut tree in their front yard. It's the only reason I even liked visiting them...was to see that tree. Is that bad???