Sep 12, 2007


It's the start of autumn, and I've noticed the Beijing street vendors are starting to switch their merchandise from peaches and grapes over to roasted chestnuts. The vendors stir the chestnuts together with miniature coals or rocks of some sort in a large, hot wok. The roasting chestnuts smell wonderful.

I'm very tempted to pick up a bag of fresh chestnuts and chow down, but I have some reservations. I brought some tasty chestnuts home for the relatives during a visit last winter, and I might as well have brought dried dog turds, seeing how poorly they went over with the crowd. Even the few adventuresome relatives that were willing to experiment with new foods gave up after trying one or two chestnuts.

Short story, I ended up eating most of the chestnuts myself. I'll be damned if I'm going to waste sixty kuai of prime chestnuts that I carted around the world, I thought to myself. It turns out that eating too many chestnuts can give you the most horrible, smelly gas you can imagine. It's the kind of flatulence that makes paint peel, the really nasty silent-but-deadly ones. They keep on coming and don't stop.

I was ripping gas for three days straight. I would get gas pains if I tried to be polite and hold it in. Like Dr. Dre, I was droppin' bombs like Hiroshima.

I found this informative piece called "Educated Fart Analysis" which points out:
Endogenous gas is produced within the digestive tract.The endogenous gases are produced as a by-product of digesting certain types of food. Flatulence producing foods are typically high in complex carbohydrates (especially oligosaccharides such as inulin) and include beans, milk, onions, yams, sweet potatoes, citrus rinds, chestnuts, cashews, broccoli, cabbage, Jerusalem artichokes, oat, yeast in breads, etc.
Give the chestnuts a try when you have a chance. It's probably a great way to flush out your gut and cleanse your colon. If you've got a hot date that night, though, it's best to hold off until another time.


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