Post by Boron Elgar
On Sat, 22 May 2021 20:07:47 +0100, S Viemeister
Post by S Viemeister Post by Cindy Hamilton Post by dsi1
I had a roasted sweet potato the other day.
You can buy them from street venders all over NYC. They have push
carts with a coal stove and a pile of sweet potatoes... there they are
called "baked". They are sold during the cold months and are kept in
pockets as hand warmers.
Oh, look. It's still 1947 in Sheldon's World.
I spent quite a bit of time in NYC studying at AADA, and although hot
chestnut, pretzel, and hotdog vendors were common, I never saw a hot
sweet potato vendor. Now I know why. There weren't any.
I loved those chestnuts.
How can they be gone???
Only two vendors left?!?!??
Sayed Elshahat, 32, who mans a cart at Fifth Ave. and 39th St., said he
used to start selling chestnuts at $4 a dozen as early as October. Now,
it's just around Christmas.
"Chestnuts are expensive for us," he said. "There is less people buying
them so less vendors are selling them. We can't afford to sell something
nobody is buying."
Roasted chestnuts appear to going the way of baked sweet potatoes,
another once-ubiquitous sidewalk snack that went extinct in the 1950s,
said New York food guru Arthur Schwartz.
"The simple answer is that few people have the taste for roasted
chestnuts. Not Americans anyway - not even New Yorkers," he said. "Hence
the chestnuts are in the touristic areas of the city."
Also, the roasted chestnuts responsible for that fragrant scent wafting
over city streets are imported from Italy, which makes them pricey
street fare, Schwartz said.
"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire is some romantic idea from a song,
but not something to eat," he said.
"It's nostalgic street food," said Sean Basinski of the Urban Justice
Center, which advocates on behalf of the vendors. "I think it smells
better than it tastes."
Joanne Amendola, 60, visiting from Trumbull, Conn., agreed after buying
a bag of nuts at at Fifth Ave. and 46th St. vendor.