Hot chestnuts

hot chestnuts

hot chestnuts

At this time of year, I used to see vendors on the streets in London selling hot chestnuts. I say used to, as I do not know if it happens any more. I was in London this time last year, and nowhere did I see hot chestnuts on the streets.

A couple of weeks ago, at a Christmas Fayre in Farnham, hot chestnuts on offer, but not traditional hot chestnuts from a street vendor, these were being cooked on a gas-fired barbecue!

The one place I have found hot chestnuts, and where I least expected to find them, was on the streets of old Istanbul.

Everywhere I came across streets vendors, each had an identical stall, but each had his own display of hot chestnuts, each display different.

And the chestnuts? They were delicious, far better than I have ever tasted on the streets of London.

And they were cheap:

  • 100g 3 lire
  • 200g 5 lire
  • 400g 10 lire

Around the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, they tried to rip you off, that is until I pointed out I knew the price, then they backed down.

What I also liked, was the lovely old scales they used to weigh out the hot chestnuts.

I think I had hot chestnuts every day. It was something to look forward to, and made a pleasant snack whilst wandering the narrow streets of old Istanbul

The only time recently I have seen hot chestnuts, was in the old part of Athens, only a couple of stalls. I tried. Expensive and poor quality to what I had found in Istanbul.

Unlike London, where hot chestnuts are found around Christmas time, in Istanbul and Athens, it was March. Whether available all year round, I do not know.

Published on Medium with pictures of stalls.

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