In a recent trek through Flushing's Main Street, I came upon a woman who was selling freshly roasted chestnuts. It didn't smell like the typical roasted-rather-burnt-caustic chestnut smell common in the city hot dog vendors but rather a sweet, caramel smell. The woman offered me a small chestnut the size of a hazelnut; not flat and large like the ones I normally see. It was sweet, smokey, melt-in-your-mouth, like Babba Streisand-Butta smooth. I was hooked.
But the woman sensed my reservation at the $7/lb price tag and especially my lack of hand-eye coordination with opening those suckers. She gave me a little plastic doo-hickey with Japanese writing to pop open the chestnuts. It was cool.
Anyhow, her little booth is located on Main St. just west of the LIRR overpass. Can't miss that smell.
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