My parents have a few Chinese chestnut trees in their yard and the spikey round balls, chestnut burrs, are everywhere. I put on a hard hat (didn't want them falling on my bare head - those things are sharp!) and gathered them up and brought a few home.
Did you know the American chestnut tree was nearly wiped out by a blight fungus in the 1800's? At one time one in four hardwood trees in the US was an American Chestnut but the introduction of the Japanese Chestnut tree brought the blight. There is a new generation of American Chestnut tree that the American Chestnut Foundation is hoping will restore them to our environment.
Back home, I was all about eating the chestnuts. First I boiled them for about half and hour but they seemed to miss that roasted flavor so I cut an X in each one and roasted them on the grill. They seem a little dry but my friend Diedra suggested I drizzle honey over them!