Hazelnuts

HazelnutsThe hazelnut is Oregon’s official state nut. Oregon is the only state that has an official state nut. Oregon hazelnuts, still called filberts by most farmers, account for 99 percent of hazelnut production in the United States. Hazelnut orchards and individuals with trees that bear more nuts than they can use call the Gleaners to help share the resource.

Picking

Harvesting hazelnuts means gathering them as they fall from the trees – before autumn rains, if possible. You can shake branches lightly but it is seldom necessary. A rake can help with gathering the nuts quickly.

Eating

” After harvest, hazelnuts should be dried before eating or storage. Begin drying within 24 hours of harvest. You can save drying time if you shell the nuts first. Small lots can be dried above a furnace or radiator as long as the temperature does not exceed 105 degrees. Hazelnut kernels are firm at first and become spongy during the drying process. As they approach dryness, they become firm again. The internal color gradually changes from white to a creamy color, starting at the outside. When the color reaches the center of the kernel, the nut is dry. – OSU Extension Service

Storage

“Whether storing dried nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, or chestnuts) or fresh chestnuts,” Raab said, “the best choice is to store them in a freezer or refrigerator. You also can store them in a cool room (55 degrees or lower) if refrigeration is not possible.” Canning is also a possibility, and the FS 146 publication tells how to do it. You can roast nuts in the oven, as well. Recipes are included.” – OSU Extension Service

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