Hazelnuts are grown in Turkey and Italy...and in Washington and Oregon...and in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. That's here...and the harvest is just completed for this year.
For many years when our children were young...we lived next door to a hazelnut farm. We had an open invitation from the owners to come 'glean' once they were done harvest. We would wait for a nice day...and take the family on an annual nut-picking adventure. That was the fun part! We then washed and dried the nuts and then handed them over to my dear mom-in-law...who cracked them and roasted them on our behalf...and sent them back in jars. What a labour of love!
We moved away from that neighbourhood...but were still invited to return with our buckets to collect nuts every year. Even Emme and Spencer had a turn at nut-picking...a few years back. Since my mom-in-law is no longer around to do the cracking and the roasting...the whole nut-picking thing has lost much of it's appeal. And besides...our former neighbours moved on...and the nut orchard is now gone.
But I still need some roasted hazelnuts...for old times sake! And so we visited another hazelnut farm...that sells the finished product. And so I came home with a few bags of hazelnuts. Some are dry-roasted...just like those of my memory. Some are honey roasted...and some are chopped, ready for the baking!
Add hazelnuts to salads...use them for baking...or eat them by the handful. They are delicious...and good for you!