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Hot Roasted Chestnuts Called 'Marroni'

It's the time of the year again when days are getting shorter and the weather seemingly colder and colder every week. October and November in Switzerland typically have only a few sunny moments and a lot of gray, foggy and wet days. Spending time outside in this season usually includes splashing into puddles with your rubber boots or jumping through piles of fallen leaves - which is fun once you get yourself out of the house!

Cold Season Charms

The colder season also offers other charms. Drinking hot tea or cider, cuddling under a blanket and watching tv or taking a hot bath are definitely more fun when it's cold and gray outside. And with the cold weather, another thing is popping up in almost every town in Switzerland: a marroni vendor.

What are 'Marroni'?

When a Swiss person refers to marroni they mean an edible chestnut that is roasted in a large pan. (As opposed to non edible chestnuts which are called 'Kastanien' in Switzerland.) You usually eat them hot since they taste best when freshly roasted because the heat brings out their nutty sweet flavor!

Originally, the marroni in Switzerland came from the southern part, the Ticino region. Starting in medieval times, chestnut trees were cultivated by farmers for food since the marroni was a substitute for bread. People would cook them, roast them and even make flour from them!

Where to buy 'Marroni'

If you've never ate bought or any hot marroni, believe me: it feels great to stroll through the streets and do some window shopping while munching some hot marroni. You can probably find a marroni vendor close to the busiest section (train station, shopping street, etc.) of the nearest town.

If you prefer to make your own marroni (they tend to be a bit pricey at the vendors) this is how you do it:
  1. Buy a bag of marroni at the supermarket (not roasted or cooked ones obviously)
  2. Take a sharp knife and cut a cross into the flat side of the marroni
  3. Roast in a hot pan (preferably over the fire)
A more detailed recipe on marroni roasting or chestnut roasting can be found here. Bon appetite!

Other uses for 'Marroni'

There are also other tasty dishes that can be made from marroni. Vermicelles is probably the most famous one but there are plenty of recipes for cakes and cookies and even for savory dishes! Be creative!

Hot Marroni - Günter Havlena  / pixelio.de








© 2012 IRENE WYRSCH "A HUMOROUS GUIDE TO SWITZERLAND" ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Comments

  1. Yeah, I also love them, especially its sweet version Vermicelles combined with Merinque, another Swiss invention (originally from Meiringen, BE). But I learned, not everybody's taste outside of Europe.

    By the way, small correction: Kastanie (plural: Kastanien) is the generic term for both, the edible and the non-edible ones: The edibale one is called - in High German - 'Edelkastanie' (edel = noble/precious/fine), the non-edible: '(Gemeine) Rosskastanie' (Gemein in the sense of 'gewöhnlich' (common/ordinary); Ross=>Pferd = horse). The Ottomen used their seed to cure their horses. And their affinity is only given by their common resemblance, but they do not even belong to the same plant family; a superficial affinity wrongly defined by our ancestors by applying the same word.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love Vermicelles too! :)

    And you are right, Kastanie refers to both the edible and the non-edible chestnuts. Thanks for noticing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love chestnuts also...I generally buy a full bag and make some for dinner during autumn...Love it!

    It's also really nice to buy some at the vendors when you're a bit cold and hungry in the street... ;-)

    And I discovered recently a Lindt chocolate filled with chestnur puree...It was awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didnt know there is chestnut chocolate. I will definitely give it a try! :)

      Delete
  4. I do love Marroni!!!

    ReplyDelete

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