Hazelnuts are the fruits of the hazel tree. It’s also known as filbert or cobnut based on their species. The trees are native to the Northern Hemisphere. It has been in existence from time immemorial. But, in 1995, evidence of large-scale Mesolithic nut processing that was found out to be around 8,000 years old was discovered in a midden pit in Scotland. This large, shallow pit was full of the remains of hundreds of thousands of burnt hazelnut shells. Greeks and Romans also ate these nuts due to their exceptional flavor. They’re nutty, toasty, musty, and earthy at the same time.
Thus, they’re popular to be used in making confections like pralines, chocolates, and truffles. It’s also common for them to be turned into spreads like Nutella, and liqueur such as Frangelico. If pressed, they can give hazelnut oil, which is commonly used as a cooking oil.
Genus: Corylus L.
Species: varied (18 species)
Binomial Name: varied