A comprehensive Guide on Different Varieties of Hazelnut - RatinKhosh Co.

A comprehensive Guide on Different Varieties of Hazelnut

Ratinkhosh R&D Team

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Consumers around the world are looking for healthier options for snacks. Hazelnuts, also known as filberts, are extremely high in “good cholesterol” or unsaturated fat and contain very few unwanted saturated fats.

A flavorful, healthy food already enjoyed by millions around the world, a recent report predicted a significant increase in hazelnut demand over the next ten years as consumers seek healthier snacks.

In this article, I am going to share the difference between a few varieties of hazelnuts with you. For reading more about hazelnuts you can see our other blog posts Hazelnut allergy symptoms and treatments, How to Choose and Store the Best Hazelnuts, Hazelnuts FAQs.

 

So, what do we have here?

  • What are hazelnuts?

  • What do hazelnuts taste like?

  • Different types of hazelnuts

  • Descriptions of hazelnut varieties

  • What is the difference between filberts and hazelnuts?

 

What are hazelnuts?

The Hazelnut is the nut of the hazel tree which is also called filberts. Hazelnuts contain the highest level of vitamin E, which plays an essential role in preserving healthy skin, nails, and hair, and can also protect against cognitive decay, inflammation, and fatty liver condition.

They are also full of unsaturated fats, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B. Therefore, they support good heart health, may decrease the risk of cancer, and assist with muscle, skin, bone, joint, and digestive health. You may read the article What are Hazelnuts and What do They Taste Like to find out more.

 

What do hazelnuts taste like?

The characteristic flavor of hazelnuts is nutty, toasted, with slight notes of musty and earthy.

One of the significant flavor mixtures found in hazelnuts is filbertone. Filbertone is naturally occurring ketone found in hazelnut oil. It has a roasted, marbled, sweet, and long-lasting character. The unique thing about this compound is that it can be applied to test for the authenticity of olive oil. To adulterate olive oil, some individuals add small quantities of cheap hazelnut oil to the olive oil. Hence, if a sample is artificial one can use gas chromatography coupled with mass spectroscopy to test if filbertone.

Another important compound responsible for the smell of hazelnuts is the bean pyrazine. This compound has a fragrance described as being pea-like, beany, earthy, chocolaty, and nutty. This is why bean pyrazine can also be found in coffee. 2-methoxy-3,5-dimethyl pyrazine is other compounds in hazelnut which smells like almond, roasted almonds, or the characteristic smell we know as hazelnuts.

Different types of hazelnuts

Hazelnuts are different in color and texture depending upon the type.

Three main groups are belonging to different subspecies according to their shape, volume, and shell hardness:

 

  • Corylus avellane racemose Lam: These hazelnuts are grouped in clusters; they are round and huge and often netted. Such as: Santa Maria de Jesús”, ‘San Juan”, ‘San Nicolás”, and ‘San Cono’.
  • Corylus avellane glandules’ Lin: These hazelnuts have acorn shapes, variable sizes, with a cone shape of the narrower base and acuminate apex — not very hard shell. Such as: ‘Ghiannusa, ‘Cannellina, ‘Minnulara, ‘Panuttara, Baccilara, ‘Muddisi, ‘Piattiddara, common hazel, ordinary hazel, hazel of Spain, etc.
  • Corylus avellane Maxima Lam: They have aspheric or round shapes, large or medium fruits, and hard shells. Commonly known as Napolitano hazel. ‘Badara ubertosa, ‘Cerro, ‘Pigra, ‘Privitera, ‘Balzanotto, ‘San Giorgio, ‘Reganati, ‘Rizo, ‘San Elmo, hazel of England, netted hazel, etc.

 

  • Hybrid hazelnuts

There are various kinds of hazelnuts throughout the world, including in Europe, Asia, and North America. The three varieties with which the Hybrid Hazelnut Consortium works include a European variety and beaked and American beaked two native North American species. The objective is to combine these plants ‘ best characteristics to create a commercial hybrid hazelnut.

  • Beaked Hazelnut

Key factors:

  • Mature 4 to 7 cm.
  • Branches that are glandless.
  • Prickly hair on the involucres.

Native hazelnuts have a wide range of adaptability and high resistance to the EFB disease in addition to having small thick-shelled nuts. By crossbreeding cold-sensitive, commercial quality (larger-nut size) European hazelnuts (Corylus avellana), with American hazelnuts (C. Americana) or beaked hazelnuts (C. comuta), we can significantly expand the range of commercial hazelnuts that can be grown as hybrids are disease resistant and well adapted to the American climate with much better nuts.

  • American Hazelnut

Key factors:

  • 5 to 3 cm mature.
  • Young branches are mainly glandular.

Native hazelnuts have a wide range of adaptability and high resistance to the EFB disease in addition to having small thick-shelled nuts. By crossbreeding cold-sensitive, commercial quality (larger-nut size) European hazelnuts (Corylus avellana), with American hazelnuts (C. Americana) or beaked hazelnuts (C. comuta), we can significantly expand the range of commercial hazelnuts that can be grown as hybrids are disease-resistant and well adapted to the American climate with much better nuts.

  • European Hazelnut

Often referred to as the European or common hazelnut, Corylus avellana. Corylus avellana is a European and Western Asian native species. Of course, European hazelnuts are often a shrub, but they can be trained as trees to grow. European hazelnuts ‘ nuts are usually free falling and larger than American or beaked nuts. By crossing cold-sensitive, commercial quality (larger-nut size) European hazelnuts (Corylus avellana), with American hazelnuts (C. Americana) or beaked hazelnuts (C. comuta), we can expand the range of commercial hazelnuts that can be grown as hybrids are resista disease.

 

Descriptions of hazelnut varieties

Barcelona

This is the primary variety that the Pacific Northwest has traditionally grown. As other varieties are being planted today, the percentage of Barcelona harvested continues to shrink every year. Despite challenges with filbert blight, the industry plays an important role in many healthy and productive orchards. Mid-October average harvest.

Ennis

They are known for their size and oblong shape of the nut. Unfortunately, the Ennis is a favorite of many, highly susceptible to blight, and not as many acres are in production. Their harvest time is similar to that of Barcelona.

Negret

Fruit of small size, with a hard shell in groups of 3 or 4. Not very vigorous tree, with root sprouting facilities. Excellent productivity, early fruiting. It is an old variety originating in Spain and protected by the ‘ Hazelnut of Reus ‘ designation of origin.

Fertil de Coutard

Fruit of big size, in groups of 2 or 3, with a thick shell. Vigorous tree, easy to form in bush and stem. Marked tendency to sprout by the root. Very good productivity, fast fructification and very delayed ripening at the end of September. It is an old French variety.

Jefferson

Over the past few years a common variety has been planted. The Jefferson has the Gassaway gene for eastern filbert blight resistance. They’re typically a larger nut which are harvested in mid-Oct ober.

Dorris

These are also a large nut harvested in mid-October with blight resistance. They are known to have an outstanding flavor profile.

Yamhill

The trees also have a smaller canopy with blight resistance and are often planted at a higher density of trees per hectare. At the end of September, they are harvested and produce a smaller nut.

Lewis

The Lewis variety is a smaller nut’ end of September ‘ harvest, known for its high yields. It’s a bit unique as it’s a kernel variety released by OSU and heavily planted but it doesn’t have the Gassaway gene so it’s susceptible to filbert blight or EFB.

McDonald

Also, with blight resistance, they are typically harvested by the end of September and have a smaller kernel, or nut.

Wepster

Trees are resistant to blight and produce a smaller nut; referred to as a variety of kernels verse the larger varieties in the shell. By the end of September, they will be harvested. Wepster trees, like McDonald, also pollinate each other, which allows the farmer to have all the varieties of production and does not need additional pollinators.

 

What is the difference between filberts and hazelnuts?

If you are in eastern North America, you may call them either filberts or hazelnuts depending on your family antiquity.

If you are in the Pacific Northwest, the older generation may call them filberts and the younger generation remembers them as hazelnuts thanks to marketing rising in 1981.

If you live in Europe or England, you probably call them filberts unless you are speaking about cobnuts.

If you live in Turkey, you would call them hazelnuts. And of course, in Asia, the local names are entirely different.

Read more on What’s the difference between Hazelnut, Filbert and Cobnut. Also, you may read about the difference between macadamia and hazelnut.

 

Wrapping up

The hazelnut is the fruit of the hazel, small, round, cinnamon colored shell and white-yellowish flesh, sweet flavored and rich in oil. The fruit is consumed raw, roasted or as an ingredient for different product processing, mainly nougat and chocolate. They are cultivated in many different varieties which are different in size and shape.

So, there you have it. In the end, we don’t care what they’re called. They are wonderful!

 

A comprehensive Guide on Different Varieties of Hazelnut

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