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Joanne Novello and the really big castagne

This is the biggest day of the year for Sault Ste. Marie's Calabrese. The 16th Annual Chestnut Feste and Dinner Dance gets underway tonight at the Marconi Club.
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JoanneNovello

This is the biggest day of the year for Sault Ste. Marie's Calabrese.

The 16th Annual Chestnut Feste and Dinner Dance gets underway tonight at the Marconi Club.

Last night, a small group of pillars of the local Calabrian community met there in a basement kitchen to knick chestnuts, a very necessary step to prevent them from exploding when they're roasted later today.

After a thoroughly scientific and completely impartial eyeballing by SooToday.com (we agreed to the club's request to pick the biggest chestnut, something we normally wouldn't get involved in but we didn't want to offend anyone), we declared that Joanne Novello (shown) had the largest castagne.

This of course, resulted in howls of protest from just about every other nut-knicker in the room.

We now know why innocent bystanders are used in place of weigh scales and measuring calipers to adjudicate such crucial matters among the Calabrese.

If they used weigh scales and measuring calipers, there'd be nothing to argue about for the rest of the evening!

Two years ago, SooToday.com wrote the definitive dissertation on the high art of Calabrian chestnut-knicking.

Italian knickers get in in a knot

Master chestnut knickers each have their own favoured tools and techniques.

Last night, we spotted Antonio Chiarello with a special knife, specifically designed for nut-knicking, sent to him by Settimio Chiarello, his brother in Calabria.

Every year, the Annual Chestnut Feste and Dinner Dance sells out many months in advance.

To meet the organizing committee for tonight's big event, please click here.

Time for a change

Isn't it time to change your computer's home page to SooToday.com?

Why keep staring at that same old boring page day after day when you can get all the latest news about Joanne Novello, Antonio Chiarello and other famous Saultites?

Just click here.






David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans six decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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