The smell of roasting chestnuts is one of my favorite holiday aromas! If you aren't lucky enough to have an open fire to cook them over, here are simple instructions on how to roast them in the oven!
Step 1: Choosing your Chestnuts
To ensure that you're getting fresh, healthy chestnuts, avoid wrinkled, mottled, or dingy shells. These things can indicate mold or that they're past their prime. Also check for pinholes as those can indicate worms. (blech!)
The chestnut season is October through the end of December, so any for sale outside that window will likely be either too young or too old. Neither are desirable.
You want glossy, firm nuts that have little, if any, space between the shell and the meat inside.