Chestnuts are a tradition in our town. Every year the Chestnut seller’s family arrives from the Italian part of Switzerland, where the genuine roasted chestnut trees grow, and he sets up his house on the market place. It has been the same family for many years, and after living in and around Solothurn for almost 50 years, I have noticed how the married couple running the business have got older with the years.
They also sell peanuts, the best you can buy, and they always seem to have a better taste than those in the stores.
There are chestnuts and chestnuts, and I even have a tree in my garden in a pot, that I managed to rear from a local chestnut tree. However, the chestnuts that are roasted and eaten are different to those that would grow on my tree. They have more spikes, and very fine. Here is a photo I took on our market where they were selling them in the raw state.
And by the way, they are known under the italian name of “marroni” in our area, probably because it is the Italian speaking families from the Ticino area of Switzerland that usually sell them. They often call “heisse marroni” (hot chestnuts) when selling them, but not in our town. They have no need, everyone knows where they can buy them.