Before traveling to Croatia I will say that I am kind of embarrassed by the fact that I had never eaten a chestnut. To be honest I actually didn’t even know what they were even except for hearing about them in Christmas carols. In Croatia they are roasting on the side of the street during the fall and you can buy a small bag of them to snack on at really any time of the day. Intrigued by this “nut,” I decided I wanted to uncrack the real story, so I traveled to the nearby village of Kostajnica which actually means “Chestnut.” The village is surrounded with chestnut trees and I was one of many people out hunting for these nuts during the season (early October). The nut falls from the tree in a prickly shell-like coating and inside are up to 3 nuts! Carefully you take the nuts out and within a few hours you will have enough for a tasty snack! The best way to eat them is cooked over a fire, however you can cook them in the oven as well! If you haven’t tried these delicious treats, central Croatia is the perfect place to start the addiction!
In Medjumorje County, just about one hour north of Zagreb, you will find the Mura and Drava rivers. This meeting point became an economic resource to the locals as it was full of riches! Still you can find gold today if you are willing to have the patience and skills that are involved. I went to see how two men that have been searching for 70 years performed the tradition. If you watch my show “Wonders of Croatia” you will see that it is no easy task to do this line of work, but with enough dedication, you can leave with a nugget!