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Sunday, 23 March 2014

Chestnut

Chestnuts became a staple in the mountainous regions around the Mediterranean Sea thousands of years ago, in part because most cereal grains couldn't grow in these areas.

During ancient times in the mountainous areas of the Mediterranean where cereals do not grow well, if at all, the chestnut was a staple food. Galen, a Roman physician to various emperors, wrote of the flatulence produced by a diet that centered too closely on chestnuts and commented on the nuts’ medicinal properties, which supposedly protected against such health hazards as dysentery, poisons, or the bite of a mad dog.

Chestnut pie dates back to the 15th century in Italy, having been documented in an early cookbook written by Bartolomeo Platina.

There used to be four billion American chestnut trees, but they all disappeared because of a fungus that kills them as saplings.

Roasting the nuts causes them to lose their bitter taste and take on a sweeter one.

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