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Kalorama Chestnut Festival

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by Julia A (subscribe)
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Roasted chestnuts and mulled wine, autumn is here
"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose". These may be the opening lines of a Christmas carol in the Northern Hemisphere, but for us in Victoria, the smell of roasting chestnuts in the air signals the arrival of autumn. Yes, as the leaves turn 50 shades of glorious red, and the days turn chilly, it can only mean one thing, the Kalorama Chestnut Festival is right around the corner.

Kalorama Chestnut Festival
A family day of Autumn fun!

Rug up and head on out to the Dandenong Ranges on Sunday 7th May between 10am and 4pm for a fun-filled day for all the family. Celebrating it's 30th year, the Kalorama Chestnut Festival has become a much-loved event that attracts visitors from all over, not only to savour all things chestnut, but to see the beautiful Dandenong Ranges showing off their stunning autumn colours.

Kalorama Chestnut Festival
The humble chestnuts day to shine

The humble chestnut, often under-utilised, is found in abundant supply throughout the ranges, and their arrival brings a special reminder of the changing of the seasons.

Chestnuts are different from other nuts and are only ever eaten cooked. They have a sweet, nutty taste and their texture is similar to that of a baked potato. Chestnuts can be used in sweet or savoury dishes or simply eaten straight out of the roasting pan whilst trying not to burn your fingers. They are low in fat and high in dietary fibre and contain vitamin C. So not only are they tasty, they are good for you and have 5 stars on the health star rating.

Kalorama Chestnut Festival
The air is filled with the smell of roasting chestnuts

Whilst the chestnut is undoubtedly the king of the festival, there is plenty more on offer, with a range of stalls showcasing locally made handcrafts and produce. For the kids there are fun rides and an adventure play space.

Kalorama Chestnut Festival
Prickly Before

Kalorama Chestnut Festival
Smooth and Shiny After

Checkout the following fun activities and what's on offer:

Delicious roasted chestnuts
Poffertjees (those yummy Dutch pancakes)
Devonshire tea and home made cakes
Sausage sizzle
Local restaurant food stalls
Artisan beer (including chestnut beer)
Mulled wine (to keep you warm of course!)
Bungy jump trampolines
Train rides
Flying swings
Petting zoo
Old-fashioned kids games
Raffles with wonderful prizes
Local handmade crafts
Local produce
Live music and performances

Kalorama Chestnut Festival
Fun and Festivities

So come on up to Mt Dandenong with friends and family and enjoy all the festivities planned throughout the day.

The festival is held at the Kalorama Oval (Kalorama Memorial Reserve) with Devonshire tea served in the small clubhouse. Parking is available for 100 cars and there is also roadside parking for 100 more cars.

Kalorama Chestnut Festival
The gorgeous colours of Autumn

Don't forget to buy a bag of chestnuts and have a go at preparing them at home. The following from The Chestnut Growers' Information Book explains how to prepare and cook them:

"Before cooking, the most important step is to cut the shell to prevent the nut exploding while cooking. Some people cut a slit across the face of the nut, others cut a cross into the flat-end."

To bake: Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Place chestnuts onto a baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes or until shell splits.

To microwave: Place chestnuts in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate. Cook, uncovered, on 850 watts/High/100% for 4-6 minutes or until flesh is tender.

To roast, grill or barbeque: Cook, turning occasionally, in a pan over medium heat for 20-30 minutes or until shell splits.

To boil (if using to puree): Place chestnuts into a pan of cold water, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until flesh is tender.

Wrap the cooked chestnuts in a tea-towel. Remove outer shell and inner skin while still warm (they're difficult to peel once cooled).

Kalorama Chestnut Festival

Keep up to date with the latest news about the Kalorama Chestnut Festival via their Facebook page.

Click here for more information on the beautiful Autumnal gardens in the Dandenong Ranges.

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Why? Celebrate the humble chestnut
When: Sunday 7 May 2017 10am to 4pm
Phone: 03 9728 1480
Where: Kalorama Reserve, Mt Dandenong Tourist Road, Kalorama
Cost: Free
Your Comment
What a wonderful Festival, Julia! We don't see too many chestnuts on the Sunshine Coast...
by Elaine (score: 3|6748) 926 days ago
We love chestnuts. I don't think I'll have much trouble getting my husband interested in this.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|7335) 926 days ago
can't wait to go to this tomorrow... chestnuts and mulled wine in the dandenongs in autumn ... can't be beaten
by lauryn (score: 2|126) 920 days ago
Foodi Photoh Classie
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