You’ve heard the song: “chestnuts roasting on an open fire.” But have you ever wondered where chestnuts come from? Because I’m pretty sure they were first introduced by way of a meteor that originated in another galaxy, and if the aliens ever find out that we’re eating them, it’s not going to end well for us.
First of all, the package carries an ominous warning that I’ve never seen on any other type of nut: “must be sliced into tiny pieces and chewed before swallowing.” There’s also an age restriction: “not recommended for children under 5 years old and senior persons 60 years and older.” Here I always thought chestnuts were some sort of happy holiday snack, but it turns out they are actually evil nuts of doom with plans to destroy our innocent children and wise elders.
You can’t just roast them in the shell, either. If you do that, they will explode. You have to cut the shell before you cook them, to let the steaming rage out. That shell isn’t like a normal nut shell, either. It’s soft and vaguely moist, with one side being quite flat. The asymmetry is uncanny. When you open that shell, what you find inside is a soft wrinkly morsel that looks disturbingly similar to a brain. It pulls apart into two hemispheres, again like a brain. Unlike any other nut I’ve ever eaten, it tastes sweet, starchy, and fruity all at the same time. And it’s not crunchy at all; it has the consistency of a baked potato.
At first I thought there was something wrong with this batch of chestnuts, since they weren’t like any nut I’d ever eaten before. But further research indicates that my experience was perfectly normal. The soft shells, the cerebral appearance, and the disconcerting texture are all exactly as they should be. This leaves only one possible conclusion: these aren’t normal nuts at all. Think about that next time you hear the famous Christmas song. And if you ever see a fleet of alien spaceships in the sky, I hope for your sake that you didn’t eat too many chestnuts.