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My grandfather was never big on holidays, especially Christmas. The only two things he did every Christmas was buy Baccalà (salted cod) and chestnuts, so that he could have two things he enjoyed in Italy during the holidays here in America. I haaaaaaaated when the Baccalà came into the house – I thought it stunk to high heaven, especially since my grandmother had to soak it repeatedly before she could cook it, but I loved when we put the chestnuts into the oven. The shells became partially black and smelled so good. When you took away the shell (watch! still hot!) the chestnut was so tender and meaty and like nothing we ever had the rest of the year. I loved when we made the chestnuts.

This tea is so close to the warm roasted chestnuts. The woody oolong goes so naturally with a chestnut tea. I had only had one other chestnut tea which was a black tea, and it was all wrong. Too harsh, too cloying, too artificial, and trying to fix it by adding milk and sugar made it nothing like real chestnuts. This tea replicates that barely sweet nutty flavor so convincingly.

Steep 2: Mmmmmmm. Just as good. I almost want to bite down because there has to be chestnut meat there!

(do these French teas not quit or what!?!?! I am again going to save the leaves for some afternoon steeping)

I’m going to take the remaining sample of this tea home, put it safe ’n sound in a tin and mark it for Christmas Eve. Thank you Doulton for this trip to the past.

EDIT: 4 lovely steeps! and I found these articles about chestnuts & Italy fascinating:
http://italianfood.about.com/library/rec/blr0282.htm
http://italophiles.com/castagne.htm

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Lori

Can you believe that I have NEVER had a roasted chestnut? It must a northern thing since we eat lots of pecans instead….

JacquelineM

I don’t think it’s common anywhere anymore, although you do still find chestnut vendors in NYC sometimes!!!

Meghann M

My mom, her mother and her grandmother would always bake baccala every Christmas too. And every Christmas they made it at my parents house. I was so thankful when I moved out to not have to smell that scent, but I missed being around all the commotion that would go on. Thank you for bringing up a fond memory.

__Morgana__

Yeah, they used to have guys on the streetcorner in NYC selling roasted chestnuts in paper bags when I lived in NYC during the 80s and 90s. It was a pretty regular thing around Christmas time. There was always a guy on the southwest corner of Central Park. I do love that smell. For some reason I never really got into the taste though. I think it was a texture thing. I don’t love water chestnuts for the same reason.

teaplz

This one sounds awesome, Jacqueline! We had baccala and chestnuts for Christmas as well. :)

JacquelineM

and funny – I was talking with my mom and she said that when I was little I used to cry each year when the baccala came into the house – ha!

~lauren.

Is the Baccalà the salted cod that came up when I googled it? I’m just a person wishful of a lovely Italian Grandmother (unfortunately, not my heritage) so I didn’t know what Baccalà was – or am I just showing a sad gap in my knowledge base because everybody but me knows what it is without benefit of an Italian heritage?

JacquelineM

yes – salted cod :) I did put that in my first mention of it in my review b/c I figured the people who didn’t grow up Italian or in an Italian neighborhood wouldn’t know. I wish I didn’t know!!!! Bllleehhhccccgh!!

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Comments

Lori

Can you believe that I have NEVER had a roasted chestnut? It must a northern thing since we eat lots of pecans instead….

JacquelineM

I don’t think it’s common anywhere anymore, although you do still find chestnut vendors in NYC sometimes!!!

Meghann M

My mom, her mother and her grandmother would always bake baccala every Christmas too. And every Christmas they made it at my parents house. I was so thankful when I moved out to not have to smell that scent, but I missed being around all the commotion that would go on. Thank you for bringing up a fond memory.

__Morgana__

Yeah, they used to have guys on the streetcorner in NYC selling roasted chestnuts in paper bags when I lived in NYC during the 80s and 90s. It was a pretty regular thing around Christmas time. There was always a guy on the southwest corner of Central Park. I do love that smell. For some reason I never really got into the taste though. I think it was a texture thing. I don’t love water chestnuts for the same reason.

teaplz

This one sounds awesome, Jacqueline! We had baccala and chestnuts for Christmas as well. :)

JacquelineM

and funny – I was talking with my mom and she said that when I was little I used to cry each year when the baccala came into the house – ha!

~lauren.

Is the Baccalà the salted cod that came up when I googled it? I’m just a person wishful of a lovely Italian Grandmother (unfortunately, not my heritage) so I didn’t know what Baccalà was – or am I just showing a sad gap in my knowledge base because everybody but me knows what it is without benefit of an Italian heritage?

JacquelineM

yes – salted cod :) I did put that in my first mention of it in my review b/c I figured the people who didn’t grow up Italian or in an Italian neighborhood wouldn’t know. I wish I didn’t know!!!! Bllleehhhccccgh!!

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Bio

I love to cook, bake, read, paint, knit, do needlework, and garden. I need my coffee, but I LOVE my tea. I work at an Art School, and attend a large public university doing post-bac work (my BA is in English). I’m interested in the liminal spaces between art and craft, the academic and the practical, the individual and community, and the old and the new. I’m currently exploring these ideas through the disciplines of education, literature, history, and psychology.

I enjoy writing tasting notes, but have decided not to numerically rate teas as of 9/14/10. For an explanation, see my looooong tasting note about Mountain Malt from the Simple Leaf.

My favorites:
Chinese black teas
A good “milk and sugar” English style black
Earl Grey (classic, and in all variations!)
Vanilla teas (classic, and in all variations!)
Jasmine, Rose, Violet and other froofy, flowery teas!
An Occasional Oolong
Flavored Rooibos
Herbal Tisanes

Location

Collingswood, NJ

Website

http://jackiemania.wordpress....

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