A hazelnut is the nut of the hazel (the cobnut or filbert are species of the same family)
Turkey is the largest producer of hazelnuts accounting for 625,000 tonnes – about 75% of worldwide production although Italy, Greece, Georgia, Spain, the USA as well as the UK are commercial producers
Long term cultivation of hazelnuts became evident with the discovery on the island of Colonsay in Scotland in 1995 of large-scale Mesolithic nut processing dating back 9,000 years.
Harvested annually in mid-autumn, most commercial growers wait for the nuts to drop on their own, rather than use equipment to shake them from the tree.
Hazelnuts are used in confectionery to make praline, and also used in combination with chocolate for chocolate truffles and products such as Nutella and Frangelico liqueur. Hazelnut oil, pressed from hazelnuts, is strongly flavoured and used as a cooking oil.