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The poster for Luciano Pradal's memoir, reflecting Ottawa's busy Byward Market. Photo by Martha Foley
The poster for Luciano Pradal's memoir, reflecting Ottawa's busy Byward Market. Photo by Martha Foley

Roasting chestnuts warm the heart and hand

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It's bitter cold this morning. And so was Friday a bitter day to be out on the streets of Ottawa.

But tucked in a doorway just next to a popular downtown Italian grocery was a little island of heat: a cheery guy with a big kettle-like grill, roasting chestnuts. After roasting, he packs a soup can-full of chestnuts into a paper bag and tucks them, hot, into your pocket. He's our Heard Up North.

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Reported by

Martha Foley
News and Public Affairs Director

My name is Luciano, Luciano Pradal...we’re in Ottawa! The capitol of Canada. (Martha: and you’re roasting chestnuts...what’s the secret?)

Oh... the secret: you have to cut them, and you have to use, like I do, wood charcoal. It’s very, very important, wood charcoal, because it gives a good flavor, and also, by roasting them, it keeps  all the vitamins and all the nutritional value.

And I’m suggesting...you see what I’m doing here? I’m putting them in the ladies coat pocket so they stay nice and warm! (much laughter) Merry Christmas! ...and to you too! 

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