In the Big Apple, the aroma of chestnuts
Tourists heading to the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center in New York are lured in by the pleasing aroma of chestnuts.
December 23rd, 2011
06:33 PM ET

In the Big Apple, the aroma of chestnuts

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.

soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. taxicab

    Do they even have Wal-Mart's in the heart of NYC?

    December 23, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. taxicab

    It must suck getting mugged by an American. Huh, Afghanistan.

    December 23, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    The worst thing about NYC cabs is the annoying TV set that our mayor's relative–sister?–put into them.
    Actually what I got today was a gypsy cab; they're usually Lincoln town cars.
    Lots of times limo drivers will take you while they're waiting for a booked client, and it's a better ride.

    December 23, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. taxicab

    Gypsy cab? Never heard of them. Remember the Cash Cab gameshow? Was he a gypsy? No. He drove a Toyota Prius. He must of been a democrat. :)

    December 23, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Somebody is trying to put me on.
    PED? Hi, anyway.
    I have a car service that I use every day. Parking your own car on the street is a b!+ch.

    December 23, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. taxicab

    I hear parking fees are a major deterant to NYers owning a car. It's something suburbia kinda takes for granted.

    December 23, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Walmart in Manhattan? I don't know: I've said before on here that they don't have anything I'd buy. I've seen them upstate.
    We have Bergdorf-Goodman and Harry Winston.
    Nobody at our house drinks Coca-Cola.

    December 23, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. bobcat (in a hat)

    What ? The President of Coca-Cola doesn't drink coke ?

    December 23, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. taxicab

    I've lived and worked in some major cities over the years. What freedom this never having to venture into those sh/tholes anymore.

    December 23, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    You can own a good car in NYC if you keep it in a garage. It stays there until you drive out of town. For getting around the city I use a car service.
    I know really rich people in NYC who own no car and rent whenever they take a trip. It's easy.

    December 23, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I missed my chance with the Coca-Cola lady by not saying, "no, but my uncle owned a Pepsi plant." (True.)

    December 23, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. taxicab

    She wouldda stabbed ya for sure. :)

    December 23, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. @JIF

    Thats economical sucking balls for a ride down town.

    December 23, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Hat cat (bobbing)

    lmao

    December 24, 2011 at 12:33 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. FYM

    Can I go too? You know how much I like swallowing.

    December 24, 2011 at 12:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
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