Hazelnut production in Turkey represents 62% of the world total, followed by Italy, the United States, Azerbaijan, Chile and Georgia. On the one hand, there are several species of hazelnuts, including a pair native to North America. Walnuts are used to make praline, chocolate truffles, nutella and hazelnut oil that is used as cooking oil. Hazelnut production in the country is negligible, as it has to rely on imports to meet growing demand.
Hazelnuts are used in baking to make things like praline, truffles, Nutella, Frangelico liqueur. Manufacturers have taken note of this trend and have responded with hazelnut milk, hazelnut cream, hazelnut flavored coffee and hazelnut chocolate bars. Hazelnuts (Haselnüsse) have been an important source of food throughout Europe since the Mesolithic period (5,000 to 10,000 years ago). Nutella is the trademark of a chocolate and hazelnut spread sold by the Ferrero company, originally from Piedmont.
However, Ferrero helped raise the profile of the nut in this country with his popular Nutella cream and his Ferrero Rocher chocolate candies with a toasted hazelnut in the center. France depends on imports to meet the high demand for nuts and is currently the third largest importer of hazelnuts, after Germany and Italy. Nearly all (99%) of the U.S. crop comes from Oregon, where 67,000 acres are produced and more than 3,000 acres are planted each year, according to Oregon Hazelnut Industry.
To make a little chocolate go further, roasted and ground hazelnuts were added to the products of the Chocolate Capital of the World. Turkey exports more than 30% of the total hazelnuts it produces, which translates to 59% of total world exports. Rogue Ales introduced a new design for its Hazelnut Brown Nectar beer, Burgerville introduces a chocolate-hazelnut smoothie, and Salt & Straw, an ice cream maker based in Portland, has released Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge as one of its January flavors. It is estimated that 90% of hazelnuts produced in the country go to processing companies, while the remaining 10% goes to fresh consumption.
In Italy, hazelnuts are sold both in shell and without shell, while walnuts in shell are sold in snack form, while shelled walnuts are mainly sold to confectioners and bakeries. Hazelnut has also been used as an aphrodisiac; the bark is ground and mixed with food or hazelnut oil consumed. The survey found that people do not consider hazelnuts to be as expensive as other nuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios and cashews were perceived to cost more.