Chestnuts, chestnut desserts & dishes

Do chestnut roasters set up at Chinese grocery stores like 99 Ranch in LA? I often see them this time of year in the SF area.

There is usually a chestnut roasting specialist stand at the Mitsuwa in Costa Mesa around this time of the year. The chestnuts are very small compared to the ones I find at Whole Foods and Korean markets. The bags come in $5 and $10 sizes if I recall correctly. They give you this little white plastic tool. The serated end is to gently crack open the chestnut. The rounded spoon side is for scooping out the chestnut. I keep this tool and use it yearly. The best roasted chestnuts I’ve had. The 2nd best were roasted chestnuts I bought in Munich from a street vendor. Was in Munich for 36 hours and had chestnuts 3 times.



Chestnuts are “new” to many in America. Billions of American Chestnut trees were killed off by a blight back in the old days. No chestnuts I n America. Out of sight…

Fortunately, cultures in Europe and Asia have always and still love chestnuts. The love runs deep. Even more fortuitous is the recent finding of a grove of chestnut trees found somewhere in the South/Appalachia. Last I read, it wasn’t determined whether these trees were resistant to blight, or were just lucky to have somehow avoided the spread of the blight.


They sure are. Here is a photo I took (just last month) of a roadside chestnut purveyor in Kyoto. We had to queue for like 20 minutes. The vendor is a 5th generation roasted chestnut specialist. And those chestnuts were ethereal.



Yes, I love the sidewalk chestnut roasters throughout Japan. And the abundance of chestnut desserts :yum:

This thread is so intriguing.

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My mom used to special order chestnuts from a European market, then roast them in the oven. I loved them. We used a hammer and toothpicks to pull out the meat. We used a hammer on nuts most of the time, unless we were eating at the table. Sometimes we had chestnut cake, but I think that was made with packaged chestnut paste.

Dominique Ansel Bakery’s online menu lists:

Chestnut Rose Cassis Mont Blanc…$8.00

Made with chestnut cream accented with rose and cassis, set atop a salted butter cookie and finished with vanilla ganache and a vanilla meringue baton on top.

I’m guessing Eately also has chestnut desserts at this time of year.

JJ Bakery also has a Mont Blanc with chestnuts but I haven’t tried it. Their other desserts are great though, so I’m sure that is as well.

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Duke Bakery makes a really good roasted chestnut bun

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oh my god thank you… we’re big chestnut people and cant find enough

we make creme de marron for our crepes at home regularly.

it’s a different chestnut… the big ones here don’t peel right and are more bland in flavor… italian ones and the japanese ones we’ve tried are so much nicer

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I want to say yes, but don’t quote me on that. I believe I’ve seen them, but it’s been yrs since I’ve wandered by a Ranch 99 or a Yao-han/Mitsuwa during the winter. When I was a kid, my parents always just appeared w/ a bag of chestnuts. For some reason, I think they got them in Chinatown?

We used to use walnut crackers (and then our teeth!) until we saw the plastic tool. I think I still prefer the walnut cracker.

It’s been yrs since I’ve had one… Maybe this year… :slight_smile:

Agreed. Just saw some of the Italian variety this morning at Roma Market in Pasadena. Very small. Want to say they were $5.99/lb.

Not that old chestnut again.

You mean this guy? (photo courtesy of

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Another Mont Blanc but at ST Patisserie. :heart_eyes:



I wish Costa Mesa was closer to me :sob:



Mitsuwa in Costa Mesa. Expensive at $15 per lb but great.

These peel ‘n’ eat chestnuts are truly finger-licking delicious. Make sure to score the nuts deeply so that the peels will open as they roast.