Skip to main content

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  /



  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.

  2. I love Vermicelles too! :)

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

  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!

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

  4. I do love Marroni!!!


Post a Comment

You have something to add or would like to ask a question? I would love to hear from you!

Popular posts from this blog

A Typical Swiss Birthday Party

My son and I recently attended a birthday party here in Cocachimba, Peru. It was the birthday of one of the kids in the village and since it's such a small place, almost everyone is invited. To be honest, I don't like going to children's birthday parties - or grown up's birthday parties - because there is usually too much noise and fuss and chaos. My husband usually takes it on himself to accompany our son to these birthdays but this time he was away so I had to step in.

If you've never been to a Peruvian birthday party, let me tell you one thing: it's loud and crowded! There is dancing and food and once in a while people are trying to say something above the deafening noise of the music. I guess, if you grew up with this it's probably normal and enjoyable but for me it was way too much noise. I could see all the children's ear go deaf in my minds eyes. Argh. Probably one of those cultural differences you'll have as a foreigner.
Memories of Birthda…

How to Spot a Swiss Person

As an expat one usually spots fellow expats right away. It's not only the language or the looks of people but rather the little peculiarities of life that seem so normal at home that give us away while abroad. Obviously, it's a cliche that all people from the same place (country, city, continent) behave in the same way and I am far from making that claim. However, growing up in a certain surrounding does rub off on people's behavior and some similarities can certainly be observed.

This is also true for Swiss people. According to the Swiss stereotype, we are a clean, punctual and strictly organized people. However, there are many exceptions like my Swiss friend who is always late or my brother whose room was a total mess while growing up. Yet, although they do not fit the description of a typical Swiss person, they still have some traits that give them away as Swiss. The same is probably true for myself - if I like it or not.
10 Signs you are dealing with a Swiss Person So,…

What I've Written about Swiss German so far

Over the last few years I've written quite a few articles about languages in Switzerland in general with a special focus on Swiss German. Thanks to Google Analytics, I know that many people visit my blog to find out more about this language and maybe even learn a few words or phrases on the way.

Hence, I decided to compile an ordered list of all language related articles of this blog. Hopefully, you'll find it helpful to learn a few new words or find out more about Swiss German.
Overview over all languages of Switzerland:Four Official Languages of Switzerland: German, French, Italian and Rumantsch are the official languages of Switzerland. Different Swiss German Dialects: What are the dialects of German spoken in Switzerland? Great overview with examples for several dialects.Swiss German 101: Short introduction to Swiss German with a basic glossaryOnline Resources for Learners of Swiss German: List with free resources for learning Swiss German over the internetSwiss German Di…