Well someone had a lightbulb moment this year. Chestnuts for sale, a half mile up the road. All we need now are fresh eggs, cheese, porcini and I be a happy camper. Buon weekend!
“There was a guy roasting chestnuts on the street corner, and the smell wafted over, hinting at the coming Winter, but in a good way, in the way that makes you think about Christmas and snow days and fires crackling away in fireplaces.”
― Sarah Dunn, Secrets to Happiness
With the fall equinox just around the corner and Christmas less than 4 months away, I’m not wondering where the time went, I’m just very sad to see summer gone so soon! For the past two weeks we’ve been enjoying some much appreciated peace and quiet after “the summer neighbors” packed up and left for the season. No more shouting, screaming, and in general uncivilized behavior from people who can’t seem to appreciate the tranquil beauty of living in a chestnut forest. But what do I know? Maybe it’s because I’m old, or maybe they just hate chestnuts and think we are all backward mountain folk.
Roccolo from Valtaleggio and Agrì from Valtorta from Il Sole e La Terra
Anyhow, I am back, I am hungry for italian food festivals, and September is shaping up to be a month of great things as we await the Slow Food Cheese fair in Bra. There’s Expo Milano to visit (after hearing reports, we need a damn strategy to tackle the masses), and of course chestnut season which should be an excellent one this year. Just outside our property the trees are loaded with the prickly husks but shhh…don’t tell!
Snap, crackle, pop! Every chestnut festival we’ve visited has always been an afternoon of fun, but this one in Velturno was a riot! Beginning mid-October, Keschtniggl (keschtn is local dialect for chestnuts) goes on for about a month with a full program of events and activities for all tastes. Inauguration day was held on the grounds at Velturno Castle at noon, but when we arrived a quarter past 12, it was apparent that things had kicked in much earlier.
There were stands selling apples, pumpkins, wine, handicrafts and chestnuts. Food booths stood in one corner of the garden, where for a small price you could feast on krapfen and other tasty nibbles. A whole lot of german spoken here which caught me off guard, but by the time I started to wonder that maybe we had fallen down the rabbit hole in Wunderland, a piercing sound filled the air and grounded my senses.
Schuhplattler! Literally translated, the word means shoe beater since the dance involves beating/slapping the flat (in german, platt) sole of a schuh. Tracing its origins to Bavaria and Austria, this “men only” dance was initially a form of courtship to wow the opposite sex. You know how it goes with the male species, they always want to be bigger, badder, and the best, and what girl in her right mind would resist a guy that moves as if he has never had two left feet in his life? Watch the clip. These guys are badass. I am absolutely convinced that this dance should be turned into an exercise video.