Editor's note: Listen to the CNN Radio broadcast about the smell of chestnuts in New York:
It’s a familiar smell in the streets of New York this time of year. Alongside the hot dog carts and food trucks, you find vendors roasting chestnuts on the same stoves they use to heat up pretzels. Bowls filled with holiday treats hang from their carts.
Tourists heading to the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center are lured in by the pleasing aroma as it wafts through the skyscrapers in Midtown Manhattan. A few bucks will get you a paper bag filled with the piping hot holiday treat.
“We used to roast chestnuts when my grandfather was alive because he used to love them,” said Jennifer DeSalle Zino of Cornwall, New York. “It actually does make me think of him when he was alive and we would do that when he was a kid.”
The aroma reminds many tourists of their childhoods. Ray Edmundston of Bayard, Delaware, couldn’t resist the chestnuts. “My grandparents used to take me in to see the Christmas parade in Philadelphia,” Edmundston said, “and I remember the vendors at City Hall in Center City. They’d have two or three vendors there sell roasted chestnuts.”
The chestnuts are a street-food favorite in New York when the temperature dips down below the freezing mark. You’ll only be able to find them, though, for a few more weeks.