Mid-Missouri gets an official chestnut taste test

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NEW FRANKLIN — The Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Center (HARC) held its annual Chestnut Roast Saturday in New Franklin. Mid-Missourians got a unique look at the nut industry filled with tastes, sounds and sights. 

Dr. Michael Gold, an associate professor at the University of Missouri, works in The Center for Agroforestry. Gold is one of the founders of the event that began in 2003. He says that he expects chestnuts to grow in popularity in the future as other unique food fads have. 

"Thirty years ago, people didn't know what a kiwi was. We didn't eat avocados, we didn't eat breadfruit," Gold said. 

Though they are bland in taste, Gold said that is part of the appeal. "It's in a sense a bit like a potato because it will pick up the flavor of whatever you cook it in." 

The event ran from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and celebrated a return from a four year hiatus. It featured an array of vendors, live music, a science show and cooking tutorials using chestnuts.