Chestnut Tree, Leaf, Autumn, Chestnut - Food, Acorn,Cooking, Food, Roasted, Barbecue,paper,brown bag
The Reason We Don't Roast Chestnuts As Much During The Holidays
By Elias Nash
In the 18th and 19th centuries, American Chestnut trees could be found all along the Eastern seaboard and as far west as Kentucky, according to USA Today. In addition to being a popular food source, The American Chestnut Foundation notes that the trees had strong, rot-resistant wood that was used to build everything from log cabins to telephone poles.
In 1904, a gardener at the Bronx Zoo saw orange spots had appeared on the bark of a chestnut tree, and soon after, the tree died. Known as chestnut blight, this fungal pathogen creates a ring of lesions around the tree’s trunk and prevents nutrients from reaching the branches.
By 1950, approximately four billion American Chestnut trees had died, but the blight does not affect the tree's roots, so you can still find saplings throughout the East Coast. Chestnuts are still available to cook with, but they are mostly imported from China, Korea, and Italy, so they lack the unique sweetness and flavor intensity of American chestnuts.