A waterchestnut is one of those vegetables that looks quite intimidating when you first get it from a farmers market or where ever. Unpeeled, they look really ugly, with a thick, dark skin like a bulb.
I found them to be an acquired taste as well. I tried a stir fry with water chestnuts but they didn't do much for me.
Then I found a recipe for bacon wrapped water chestnuts and I was sold after that. You can find similar recipes online. It's kind of nice to know that the chestnut doesn't have many calories, so it kind of makes up for the bacon.
Frozen (and thawed) water chestnuts can be used for this if you don't want to use canned.