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Chestnuts and wine by San Andrés

Chestnut hedgehog by ShopCanarias.es
Chestnut hedgehog by ShopCanarias.es

Early November

It all starts when we go looking for the first chestnuts. You start to imagine the roast chestnuts, the wine, and St. Andrew’s Day.

We went to havest chestnuts in October this year, but they were white.

So we had to wait until November, with the arrival of the rains, for them to mature.

Tradition of the Canary Islands on St Andrew’s Day

On St. Andrew’s Day, November 30th., or rather on the eve of that day, November 29th. at night, since I remember, the children ran the “cacharros” down the neighborhood street, and adults would drink new wine while cutting chestnuts (thus the chestnuts wouldn’t explode in the heat).

In some villages such as Icod, Tenerife, they have a habit of “running the boards” that night. Children and adults throw themselves on a wooden board, individually or several at once, going down ramps that end up with a wall of tires to finish braking ?

The Cacharros

The cacharros are containers, especially cans, which are tied to a rope or fixed to a wire, crawling on the floor to make as much noise as possible. When I was little I was told that the tradition comes from when the barrels were dragged down the street to the cellars and the Guachinches. Others say that they took them to the sea days earlier to wash the barrels. Anyway, it’s a lot of fun for kids, but also for older people. I’ve seen old washing machines crawl down the street by two adults ?

Cacharros after being dragged the night before St. Andrew's Day by ShopCanarias.es
Cacharros after being dragged the night before St. Andrew’s Day by ShopCanarias.es

The new wine

New wine is the wine resulting from the last harvest. Which is the one that was deposited inside the barrels that supposedly rolled later down the streets.

Before the meal was prepared, the wine accompanied it with “chochos” (lupins), “manises” (peanuts), or the like. And for dinner; roasted chestnuts, sweet potatoes, mojos, and salted fish, among other delicacies. And with the whole family.

If you have the opportunity to come to the Canary Islands on those dates, we invite you to enjoy this custom. You will not forget the smell and taste of roasted chestnuts, nor the taste of new wine, nor the noise of the “cacharros” ?

Thank you very much for the visit, and see you soon!

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