THE TASTE OF SWEET CHESTNUTS / DOCE SABOR A CASTANHA
We do not want to discuss here the organic versus synthetic. The world may be in need of syntetic help and also genetic modification but the organic or natural as much as natural can be these days should never cease to exist. At least this is the hope of many people all over the world. And not only because is healthier than synthetic and healthier to the environment, but mainly because it tastes a thousand times better than any synthetic, even if the looks may sometimes deceive you.
The tasting can only be perceived if you have tasted before the feeling in your mouth of these natural grown food. This taste is worth all efforts according to the general tasting. Today we can still visit many villages, preferably away from big cities and try the local food, just to feel the taste of it. Of course that in many villages the farmers do use already fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, but some do care about it and simply continue the old tradition of growing naturaly. If and when we have the chance to eat a simple fruit, a simple soup, a simple dish of vegetables, then you will believe in the precious taste of these grown naturaly food. This tasting we are talking about does not concern only to fruits and vegetables. Take for example a simple chicken, a duck, a rabbit or a pork. If they run free in the wild or the owner feeds them with natural food, then you could also be a witness of the true taste of the meat. The same happens with the fish.
Like the spring water where the treatments are kept to a minimum, also the organic foods can be “treated” to a minimum, so the original tasting can be preserved for all generations to have this opportunity to know the real sensation and pleasure to taste the perfection of nature.
These considerations are not some imagined ideas. All the studies prove that the nutrients in organic foods are richer in vitamins and other micronutrients.
There is no comparation whatsoever between the taste (whatever definition is considered) of an organic naturaly grown fruit or vegetable and a synthetic one, but many children in so many countries or even many which are raised in big cities these days have no access whatsoever to these products. And this is so very sad. Farming has changed so much that the traditionally farming is almost doomed. The big multinational corporations simply wiped out thousands of small farmers in every country. Science has been given some help these days to make people realize the benefits of organic food and we can even see in a small scale that the organic farming is becoming more and more widespread. This is good news.
The education should also play a role in this effort of given children the knowledge of a healthier nutrition. Almost every child knows the MacDonald´s but few have ever taste a wild chicken or pork, or for what matters a simple sweet chestnut. Many do not know or understand the richness of the naturaly grown food.
Unfortunately there are so many problems regarding children nutrition around the world that the great demand for basic food and pure water in so many countries will be the main concern in the future, if not now already. One way of fighting this problem is this organic farming. As long as the leaders, politicians and all the people involving in education help on this effort, there should be no reason for not solving the problem of feeding children all over the world. It may take some time, but education and science will be the only way to keep this hope for our planet and our civilization.
The big cities have grown so much that we tend to forget the small scale, the small villages, the small farmers and their produce so more tasteful than the syntetic. We should give us the opportunity for this small scale to survive and grow, otherwise our children will never truly know the wonderful taste of so many foods.
So, let´s just have a taste of the wonderful sweet chestnuts. There are a lot of villages that celebrate each year the sweet chestnut. Visit any of the fairs and festivals (see our page) and let yourself drift among the wonderful taste of the sweet chestnuts. Most of the events and festivals take place in October or November. Perhaps the three that attract more visitors in Portugal are the following:
"Festa do Castanheiro e da Castanha" in Marvão, where you can also be a witness of the biggest "Magusto" of our planet.
"Rural Castanea" in Vinhais, with the "Biggest Chestnut-roasting Oven in the World”.
"Feira da Castanha" in Carrazedo de Montenegro, capital of the sweet chesnut in Tras-os-Montes region.