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Kalorama Chestnut Festival

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by Julia Hebaiter (aka Julia Svoice) (subscribe)
Owns 'FoodLit'. Highly qualified, established food & lifestyle writer, former restaurateur, founder professional writing business, Articul8. Long, diverse writing history, passion for food culture, the land & inspired food
A Chestnut Fest with The Best
Whether you love them or have never munched into one before, the Kalorama Chestnut Festival is a must-visit for anyone nutty about life and exploring all it has to offer. Warm, roasted chestnuts and all the fun of a community festival beckon in the hilly hills of the Dandenong Ranges on Sunday May 1st. It's on from 10am until 4pm at Kalorama Reserve on the scenic Mt Dandenong Tourist Road.

If you're into gourmet food, Devonshire tea, artisan beer and mulled wine, you'll be as happy as a cosy chestnut sitting in its burr.

If you're into browsing stalls, local produce and handcrafts, winning raffle prizes and enjoying live entertainment, you'll be happy as a bunch of chestnuts all copied up together in their burrs.

If you're a kid at heart and like the idea of bungy jump trampolines, mini golf, train rides, flying swings, petting zoos and some good, old-fashioned kids' games, you'll be as happy as we were when we found this bunch of cosy chestnuts lying beneath the chestnut trees during a recent spontaneous trip to the hills - which was more fruitful than we ever could have imagined.

Not had chestnuts before? Please, please do. We've been excitedly anticipating chestnut season every year since I was old enough to say 'chesunt'. But please get them from a farmers' market or this festival, as the shop-bought ones sometimes don't live up to expectations, especially if purchased from a supermarket.

They're sweet and nutty, with a firm baked-potato-like texture. While they can be boiled, steamed, or microwaved, roasting them makes them sing - while failing to make a little cut in their skin before cooking makes them explode!

Read more about these beautiful little babies, who have the well-deserved privilege of having a whole website dedicated to them.

Hope to see you at the Kalorama Chestnut Festival. I'll, of course, be hanging around the roasting pans and, if the weather does anything like it's meant to in May in the hills, will be rubbing my mittened hands in glee.

I'll also, weather permitting, have flushed cheeks from the fresh mountain air, have a nice warm tummy from the toasty, tasty chestnuts, and a nice warm heart, which simply just happens when surrounded by nature at a family-friendly festival run by passionate locals. Keep up the good work, folks!
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Why? You'd Be Nuts If You Missed It
When: Sinday May 1st
Where: Kalorama Reserve
Cost: Free
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