Chestnuts were once known in the Valais as the ‘bread of the poor’. At that time the Valais was the largest producer of chestnuts in Switzerland, along with the Ticino. Miles of beautiful chestnut forests are evidence of this, and an encouragement to long walks. The chestnut tradition is alive and well today. A big chestnut festival is celebrated in Fully every October. Over 8500 kilograms of chestnuts are roasted at numerous market stands in the village streets surrounding the church.
In autumn, the locals indulge with gusto in an old Valais tradition, the brisolée, which provides a welcome occasion for cheerful social outings and visits to hostelries. Roasted chestnuts are served with various types of alpine cheese (neither too fresh nor too dry) and sauser (young, not fully fermented wine). Grapes and apples may also be served, depending on the region.