Yesterday I marched into La Maison du Chocolat fully intending to shell out $4-5 bucks for just one marron glace (chestnut). I decided in the name of research I'd must try one of these concoctions.
And a very special chestnut it is too - a Marron Glace / glazed, candied chestnut takes 4 days to prepare, two spent soaking in a syrupy sugar solution. I saw these in Reims in October but resisted temptation...I was also informed that there were none left at La Maison!
They were sitting politely on the front counter at La Maison during Christmas, but I procrastinated. I thought too sweet, I'll pass. But their Marrons are not too sweet (ont la particularité d'être très peu sucrés). The Marron glace I saw all over the shop were just "dummies". I felt like a crash test dummie. The French are completely nuts (no pun intended) about chestnuts. They do a whole slew of "faux" chestnuts for autumn. The windows were full of them. This marzipan version was sitting in Patrick Roger's window.
I compulsively took pictures of every chestnut that fell across my path (no pun intended). And I passed up every one. These were part of La Mere de Famille's Fall display. All edible...
Marrons are the fruit of Le châtaigner tree and here's a little movie on them. "Chatain" is also the name of chestnut hair color...like blondinette /brunette. The meat is quite nutricious too. Just don't eat too many. Elle peut provoquer des gaz intestinaux si on en fait une grosse consommation. My New Year's resolution - I will not pass up any French chestnuts that come my way in 2007 next Fall.
An old chestnut" is a subject/joke which has been repeated so many times that it isn't funny any more.