Also known as filbert nuts, hazelnuts originate from Southern Europe. They are the nut of the hazel tree, with a thin, dark brown skin which is usually removed before cooking. The largest national producer of hazelnuts is Turkey, which grows them primarily in the Giresun and Ordu provinces.
The nuts are usually harvested in the autumn. Hazelnuts are spherical in shape and ripen about 7 months after pollination. They are rich in protein, monounsaturated fat, and numerous important vitamins, including Vitamin E.They have been a vital part of human diet for at least 9,000 years. Beyond food, the bark and nut paste was also used by the Romans in “wattle and daub” buildings. Sweet to the taste, they are also extremely nutritious kernels with multiple culinary and medicinal uses.
Used as snacks on their own or ground into paste for use in other products (like Nutella), they are frequently found in confections and liquor. The oil is also used for medicinal purposes, including aromatherapy and as an astringent, that keeps skin protected from dryness.