Dec 2011 Ingredient: Chestnuts

“The Christmas Song,” as it is decisively known, is laden with fact and fiction. Join us, as we explore its triumphs and its fallacies.

Fact or Fiction

FACT: “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.” Indeed, somewhere, right now, somebody has an open fire and is lighting up some chestnuts like it’s their job. Because it is. They get paid for it.
FICTION: “Jack Frost nipping at your nose.” Jack Frost is actually a germaphobe. He would never be caught dead nipping at anybody’s nose, fingers, toes, hair, or anywhere else for that matter. He’s at home taking a nap in his plastic wrap blanket.
FACT: “Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe / Help to make the season bright.” The tryptophan in turkey knocks most individuals into dreamland before 8:00 PM. There’s nothing brighter than dreaming about go-karts and chestnuts.
FICTION: “Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow / Will find it hard to sleep tonight.” Are you serious? Tiny tots with eyes aglow? Are we talking about the holidays or Children of the Corn? Take your creepy flashlight-eyes back to the Wes Craven orphanage, I’m going to have nightmares for a week.
FACT: “And every mother’s child is going to spy / To see if reindeer really know how to fly.” Yes, kids will. And yes, they can fly. I just saved you the effort, kid.
FICTION: “And so I’m offering this simple phrase / To kids from one to ninety-two.” If you are over the age of eighty-six, it might be time to give up your pacifier.
FACT: “Although it’s been said many times many ways / A very Merry Christmas to you.” Too kind! Same to you!

The Truth About Chestnuts

  • There are four main species of chestnut trees: European, American, Japanese, and Chinese
  • Despite the nomenclature, chestnuts have nothing to do with water chestnuts, which are tubers from an aquatic plant
  • Chestnuts can actually be eaten raw, though it’s definitely not guaranteed to taste very good if the pellicle isn’t removed
  • The chestnut (and chestnut tree) has been a popular symbol in numerous works of art, including the novels Jane Eyre and 1984


December 2011