Roast with the Most

Warm up with old-fashioned chestnuts

Jacob Bromwell American Chestnut Roaster

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…” Turn this line from the classic Christmas tune into your own holiday tradition with a roaster handcrafted in Vermont for nearly 200 years. The stainless steel basket holds about 60 chestnuts and features a perforated top enabling the cozy aroma to fill your home. $59.95 (sale);

Franca Franzoni Chestnut Honey

Franca Franzoni’s Chestnut Honey — collected from forests high in the Apennine Mountains between Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna — is for the serious honey lover. This deep amber Tuscan honey shines with sweet, woody aromas and rich notes of molasses, dark cocoa and a pleasant bitterness. $11.50 (8.8 oz.);

Ground Breaker Dark Ale

Portland’s Ground Breaker Brewing focuses solely on gluten-free beer delicious enough for gluten gluttons to glug. In fact, the popular dark ale crafted from ebony, espresso-like roasted chestnuts and lentils — along with dark Belgian-style “candi” sugar — won a gold medal at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival. $8.97 (22 ounces);

Ladd Hill Orchards Dried Chestnuts

Ben and Sandy Bole planted Ladd Hill Orchards in 1992. Certified organic by the USDA-accredited Oregon Tilth program, Ladd Hill grows Colossal Chestnuts outside Sherwood. Try their fresh chestnuts, or stock your cupboard with the dried version, perfect for soups, sautés, stews and desserts. Dried chestnuts: $16 (16 oz.). Wild rice with dried chestnuts: $8 (8 oz.).

Trader Vic’s Roasted Chestnut Liqueur

Trader Vic’s, the Tiki-themed restaurant chain, offers a line of nut liqueurs, including roasted chestnut. Its warm aroma, reminiscent of freshly roasted chestnuts, smooth caramel and just a hint of heat, precedes a similar palate, making this the perfect liqueur to sip or mix in cocktails — Tiki barware not required. $17.99;

Oregon Chestnuts

In 1985, Randy and Irene Coleman of RC Farms, were the first to plant a commercial crop of chestnuts in the Willamette Valley.

“At the time I started, total chestnut acreage in the United States was 50 acres,” Randy said. “Now, the number totals more than 300 acres in Oregon alone.”

Just south of McMinnville, the couple grows 17 acres of a variety called “Colossal.” The Japanese/European hybrid was developed for its large size, sweetness and ease of peeling.

Chestnuts can be ground into flour, puréed like potatoes, boiled and sautéed like a vegetable, and used in stuffing, soups, quiches, desserts or on their own as a healthy snack.

Chestnut harvest typically occurs October through early December. Check the following websites for availability.

RC Farms, McMinnville |

Ladd Hill Orchards, Sherwood |

Nella Chestnut Farm, Hood River |

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