Last month one of the great characters of Barga Vecchia, Natale Bertolini celebrated his 80th birthday. (article here) Since that day he has been talking about preparing some roast chestnuts for all the regulars in Aristo’s baras a kind of thank you for the party that was organised to celebrate his 80 years on the planet.
This afternoon as most people were sheltering inside away from the gusting freezing winds that have been battering Barga for the past 2 days, guess who should turn up at Aristodemo’s bar with a basket full of still warm freshly roasted chestnuts ? Within minutes the party was on, the red wine was flowing and all helped along by the stirring accordion playing of Giuliano.
Natale, one of the masters of roasting chestnuts showed just why he is so famous in the whole valley for his technique. We published an article about his methods back in March (article here)
There are various methods that people try to preserve the chestnuts well past the autumn and into the winter. Some try burying them in glass demijohns and flasks in an attempt to keep them fresh. Others have even tried imitating the squirrels and edible dormice in this area who store the nuts inside hollow trees wrapped up in moss but the most widely used technique (and the one that Natale used even he didn’t want to admit to it in public) was storing them in the deep freezer.
Click on the link below to hear more of the music in Aristo’s today