The fall/winter season came quickly. In November we had a very mild month and then all of the sudden we woke up one morning chilled to the bone with a storm. We found Mt. Etna with a huge snow cap on it already! During this time of year you start seeing a whole new batch of foods at the market. Chestnuts (castagne pronounced: Cas-tah-nee) are one of them. On the side of the roads you will see this giant billowing of smoke coming out of what looks like a chimney starter. Inside they are roasting a boatload of chestnuts. The locals love these things. On my many attempts of trying them from several different sources (based on recommendations of locals)… they are all similarly bad. I think that its the texture of the chestnuts that I don’t like. They have this mealy kind of chalkiness to them that just sucks your mouth dry. Sorry for the graphic explanation, but I hope that it made it clear…ha.
On the other hand Artichokes (carciofi pronounced: Car-cho-fee) are also showing up! I love how fresh these are. Right now you can get a bag full of them, like the picture below, for a few euro. In California I had my share of artichokes, but for some reason I am obsessed with the artichokes here. It might be the suspense of waiting for the season to come around or just the fact that everyone else gets real excited about them. You see the streets filled with smoke from bbqs roasting the artichokes basted in olive oil. The smell makes me feel like Toucan Sam following my nose. Personally I have a few different ways that I prepare them, but my favorite right now is to marinate them. I will have to post the recipe for this. Hope that everyone is having a good start to the winter season. 🙂