Istanbul eats: Kestane

We were wandering around Sultan Ahmet on our first morning, trying to orient ourselves and not look like wide-eyed tourists, when the nutty aroma of roasted chestnuts (kestane in Turkish) drew us to a street vendor.

The man we bought our chestnuts from charged 4 Turkish Lira per 100 grams. We noticed that prices varied; some carts were selling 150 gm for the same price or 100 grams for 3 TL. This is what all the carts look like:

And this is what our delicious chestnuts looked like while they were roasting.

And in the bag they went.

Though a couple were difficult to peel, the rest of our chestnuts (kestane) were divine. Hot, buttery and filling. They were just what we needed on that chilly morning.

5 thoughts on “Istanbul eats: Kestane

  1. I loved them too, never thought I would! Thanks for writing about Istanbul; you remind me of the great time I had there just a few months ago :)

  2. Ahh I envy you! I would love to visit Turkey one day esp. Istanbul.
    When I was young we holidayed in the US and the one thing I remember about New York was the smell of roasted chestnuts on the street during Christmas time. It was so long ago but I can’t forget that smell. Sooooo heavenly!! Its so sad we dont get them here in South Africa… :(

    • You really should take a trip there as soon as possible. Avoid religious holidays at all costs, though. And probably the summer.

      We get chestnuts in Kuwait during the cooler months (I should send you some!), but buying them from a street vendor just made them taste a little better for some reason. Sigh, I can only imagine the smell of chestnuts in NY around Christmas.

  3. Pingback: Istanbul: the lowdown on street food « F. scribbles

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