Recently when I was squiring some visitors around town, leading them up and down the fascinating back alleys of Shanghai, we were suddenly enveloped by the lovely scent of roasted chestnuts. As we turned the corner the big silver wok filled with soft brown chestnuts being patiently stirred with a worn wooden paddle came in to view. I closed my eyes and inhaled deeply. Yum….
If you stay more than a year or two in Shanghai you will come to recognize the particular sights and, in this case, smells that herald in a new season. As sure as pajama people signal the start of summer, roasted chestnuts initiate autumn in Shanghai.
Chestnuts have been cultivated in China longer than rice, going back over 2000 years, so you can expect that they know how to roast this winter treat. Chestnuts make an excellent street side snack. These “nuts” are gluten-free and have about half the calories of the same a portion of tree nuts.
Looking for a heart healthy snack, add a bag of low fat, low sodium roasted chestnuts to the list. Chestnuts ( really the fruit of the chestnut tree) can add a significant amount of fiber to your day, something everyone of us could use more of in our diets.
Roasted chestnuts are good for you to eat for sure, but the romantic in me just loves melting in to the distinctive aroma of roasted chestnuts on a cool, crisp November day in Shanghai. Now that is a gift from this city I will keep with me for a long time.
Eat Well, Live Well, Have Fun!
Eat Well Shanghai holds office hours by appointment twice a month at:
The Orange Room Center for Wellness
St.Laurent Building, #201,7B
3215 Hong Mei Lu ph. 6406 3642