In the Alentejo, in the evening of the San Martinho (November 11th) they eat chestnuts and drink agua-pé
In November the sunlight is incredible, so low in the morning and at the end of the day. Its sunny yet cold - 8° in the mornings. So at night we light a fire in our fireplace. Cork oak makes a nice blaze,leaving good embers - perfect for roasting chestnuts.In the Alentejo they make red clay pots with holes in them (like a big sieve) especially for roasting chestnuts.
The chestnuts have to be fresh (Portuguese chestnuts are among the best – never floury) and big. (little ones dry out too quickly).
A chestnuts torture is short, only about 8-10 minutes on hot embers. If they are too hot the chestnuts burn without roasting, when the temperature is right they are just a little firm yet soft in the middle./ they should always be peeled when they’re hot.
In Golegã they eat chestnuts sprinkled with coarse salt. The traditional beverage is agua-pé which is a fermented drink with a low alcohol content made from grapes to which water is added. They are also very good with a light, dry white wine.
If you have any chestnuts left over you can always make jam.