They are named hazelnuts, filbert nuts and cob nuts, names used interchangeably. Technically each is a different specie, yet very similar. To further confuse, some of each of the nuts are actually hybrids of themselves. Needless to say, using either in a recipe will bring about a delicious result, and we currently see an increased number of recipes calling for them.
Though hazelnuts appear to have originated in Asia, more than 75 percent of them are grown in Turkey today with some produced in Italy, Greece, Spain and the UK. France was the first country in Europe to grow them and introduced them into the U.S., where most of them are grown in Oregon and Washington.
Hazelnuts are low low in cholesterol and sodium. They are also a good source of protein, vitamin E, copper and manganese.
Dry roasted hazels/filberts are best kept in the refrigerator, and can be used for up to one year. If you freeze them, they will have a two-year shelf life. Coatings and seasonings can extend this period.
USES FOR HAZELNUTS/FILBERTS:
Use these nuts in any recipe you would put other nuts or dried fruit in.
Roast raw hazelnuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet at 250 degrees for about an hour. Their skins can be removed by rolling warm nuts between two layers of cloth toweling.
Eat hazelnuts/filberts whole, ground and sprinkled, flaked or mashed into a spread or nut butter.
Hazelnut oil makes a fine addition to salads, marinades, coffee flavoring and salad dressings.
Chopped hazelnuts make an excellent ice cream topping, a breading for meat or fish and an accompaniment to lamb.
Manufacturers and bakers place Hazelnuts in Nutella spread, chocolate truffles, Vienese pastries, Kiev cake, Dacquoise and Frangelico liquor.
Hazelnut (dot) com has lots of interesting hazelnut recipes.