I have a very special relationship with this recipe as it has always been one of my favorite desserts of Fall but also because of the incredible heritage associated with its main ingredient, Chestnut. Delicious, filling and extremely peasant, largely responsible through the centuries for keeping alive generations of poor mountain families of center Italy, especially during periods of plague and war.
In fact chestnut flour is a prerogative ingredient of those communities that in Italy had historical scarce access to wheat. The use of this flour is embedded in the traditions of Tuscan Hunters and their families, that have forever celebrated the arrival of the cold season with a slice of Castagnaccio and a glass of young wine.
Indeed an acquired taste is preferable, as the first impression of the Castagnaccio texture might be absolutely foreign and disarming… but be confident that the flavors and the aromas of nuts and herbs will conquer your palate before you can think twice about it. So drizzle a slice with new olive oil and fill up your glass with some young Chianti, and be transported on the misty Apennine Mountains of Tuscany.