Yes, look at those puffy, fuzzy green fruits---whatever could they be? Well, let's just pick one and have a AAAAIIIIIEEEEOWWWWCH!!!!
You all are way ahead of me here, I'm sure; that's no fruit, that's the extremely prickly outer coating of the chestnut!
|Secret toy surprise!|
I was surprised to see that the American Chestnut Foundation says that the chestnut has been smited by blight here in Eastern woodlands. The blight is a fungus that came in on Asian chestnut trees (bastards!) planted in New York (sorry!) and just plain murders the American chestnut. Looks like this is my week to find out about tree perils.
The ACF has been working on a blight-resistant American chestnut, and it would appear they are in beta testing. If you're interested in helping out, the Web site gives you plenty of information on how to do so. Be aware, though, that the ACF failed to meet Better Business Bureau standards by its failure to divulge budget information.
Personally, I hope the American chestnut makes a roaring comeback. I like trees, and I love the smell of roasting chestnuts. I've never eaten a chestnut, but they sure smell good. Of course, maybe it's only the Asian ones I've been smelling. Maybe the domestic ones smell different.
The Agricultural Marketing Resource Center notes that many chestnuts sold in American grocery stores come from China. Does this mean that when we sing of chestnuts roasting on an open fire at Christmas, we're talking about Chinese food?