The legend of chestnuts and the green fairy that makes us rediscover the magic of autumn

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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The legend of chestnuts and the Green Fairy and other legends about the autumn fruit par excellence, to tell our children

Don't store avocado like this: it's dangerous

The legend of chestnuts and the Green Fairy and other legends about the autumn fruit par excellence, to be told (also) to our children, and not just at school!

What autumn would it be without chestnuts? Certainly very sad, because this fruit that we find in the woods and in areas far from city pollution is not only very good, but also has many properties. Numerous legends revolve around the chestnut tree.

As we said, the chestnuts they are a cure-all, are cholesterol-free, provide mineral salts, phosphorus, calcium, iron and potassium, and are therefore a food with a high energy value, useful in autumn and winter to recover strength. They also contain fibers useful for intestinal activity.

Chestnuts are recommended in case of anemia because they are a source of folic acid and are useful in convalescence, for example for the elderly and children after a flu. But in addition to many properties and ways in which they can be used in the kitchen, chestnuts are the protagonists of many legends, we will tell you two in particular that are often read to children.

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Legends about chestnuts

A long time ago the chestnut tree was a very sad tree because it had no fruit to give to children. One day he asked the Green Fairy that he too can have fruit like other trees. She promised him that he would have them, but only the following year. A few days later the chestnut hid a little family of hedgehogs in its branches, which ran away from a pack of dogs that wanted to eat it.

When the Green Fairy found out about it, she returned to the chestnut tree and rewarded it by immediately giving it many fruits enclosed in small green curls: the delicious chestnuts.

Another legend is this:

Many years ago, in a mountain forest, there lived a family of hedgehogs: mum, dad and their little ones. Next to them, there was a huge tree full of chestnuts. Each day, a group of hungry squirrels approached the tree to eat its fruit. One day, the hedgehog family thought about taking a walk in the woods. She heard complaints and walked curiously to the tree to see who she was.

She went upstairs and was surprised to see the sad chestnuts complaining, and they explained to them about the squirrels eating them. Together, they came up with a nice plan: by the time the squirrels arrived, the chestnuts would hide inside the hedgehogs. So they did.

From that day on, the squirrels stung themselves and no longer came to disturb the chestnuts. That is why, even today, chestnuts keep their hedgehog to protect themselves from the enemy.

And finally, a legend linked more to the religious aspect:

The inhabitants of a small mountain village were so poor that they had nothing to eat. Every day they prayed to God that He would give them something to eat. God took pity on them and gave those inhabitants a majestic tree: the chestnut tree from which they could collect nutritious and edible fruit.

The devil out of spite enclosed the fruits in a thorny hedgehog to prevent men from picking them. The villagers then turned to God again and asked for his help. God came down from Heaven and, looking at the chestnut tree, made the sign of the cross and as if by magic the thorny shells opened, making the chestnuts fall.

From that day on, every year in autumn the chestnut fruits open in a cross and fall down ready to be picked and enjoyed by everyone.

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On chestnuts and autumn, read also:

  • 10 excellent reasons to love autumn (beyond the pleasant chill)
  • Baked chestnuts: the recipe and tricks for perfect roasted chestnuts
  • Boiled chestnuts: the original recipe and some tasty variations
  • Chestnuts: 15 recipes of first courses, main courses and desserts


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