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How do the unique qualities and origin of Turkish hazelnuts contribute to their exceptional value and desirability?
Turkish hazelnuts are highly valued for their dense, pyramidal crown and fine form. Turkey cultivates and processes most of the world’s hazelnuts, with a market share between 70 and 80% of the worldwide hazelnut production. Hazelnuts are used in a variety of products, including Nutella and Ferrero Rocher chocolates. Hazelnut oil, pressed from hazelnuts, is strongly flavored and high in monounsaturated fat; it is used as a cooking oil and as a salad or vegetable dressing. Hazelnuts are an excellent source of vitamin E, a good source of dietary fiber, manganese, copper, and Omega 9 . Giresun hazelnuts, which grow in Giresun province in the Black Sea Region, are the world’s highest quality hazelnuts .
Turkey’s climate and soil are both perfect for growing hazelnuts, which can be eaten raw or roasted and have a very sweet taste that pairs well with chocolate or other desserts. However, the hazelnut industry in Turkey has suffered damages due to pests and diseases such as the brown marmorated stink bug, green stink bug, and powdery mildew.
How should I properly store Hazelnuts?
Hazelnuts can be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place such as a pantry or cupboard. It is best to store them in their shells to preserve their freshness for a longer time. You can place the hazelnuts in a breathable container like a mesh bag, burlap sack, or a perforated container to prevent moisture buildup . Avoid storing the hazelnuts near strong-smelling foods or spices, as the nuts can absorb odors. Keep the hazelnuts away from direct sunlight, as this can cause them to become rancid more quickly .
If you want to extend the shelf life of hazelnuts, you can consider vacuum sealing them. Properly vacuum-sealed hazelnuts can last up to 2 years when stored in a cool, dark place such as a pantry or cupboard.
Recipes with Turkish Hazelnuts
- Turkish Hazelnuts: This traditional Turkish sweet is made with hazelnuts, egg whites, sugar, salt, and butter. The hazelnuts are toasted in the oven and then mixed with a foamy egg white and sugar mixture. The nut mixture is then spread on top of melted butter and baked until golden brown .
- Hazelnut Cezerye Dessert: Cezerye is a dessert with many varieties including hazelnut, pistachio, walnut, and almond. Our recipe today is cezerye with hazelnuts. In addition, to make cezerye, they boil the carrots, add sugar, spices, and nuts to it and rest the cezerye. Then they cover the cezerye with coconut, cut and serve
- Hazelnut Spread: This homemade hazelnut spread is a healthier and more delicious alternative to store-bought spreads. It’s made with roasted hazelnuts and honey, and takes only 10-13 minutes to make. Simply blend the hazelnuts in a food processor until they turn into flour, add honey, and blend again until you get a smooth consistency
Turkish Hazelnuts Nutrition Value
Hazelnuts are a nutritious and healthy snack that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. One ounce (28g or about 21 whole kernels) of unsalted hazelnuts contains approximately :
- Calories: 178
- Fat: 17g
- Sodium: 0mg
- Carbohydrates: 4.7g
- Fiber: 2.8g
- Sugars: 1.2g
- Protein: 4.2g
Most of the calories in hazelnuts come from fat, but it’s mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are considered healthy forms of fat. Hazelnuts are also an excellent source of vitamin E, providing about 28% of your daily recommended intake. They are also a good source of thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, manganese, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and potassium
How to make Homemade Turkish Hazelnut Paste
You can make Turkish hazelnut paste at home with just two ingredients: roasted hazelnuts and honey. Here is a recipe that you can follow:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Spread 2 cups of roasted hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast them for 10-15 minutes until they are fragrant and golden brown.
- Let the hazelnuts cool down for a few minutes.
- Put the hazelnuts into a food processor and pulse them until they are finely ground.
- Add 4-5 tablespoons of honey to the food processor and continue to pulse until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy. This should take about 10-13 minutes.
- Store the hazelnut paste in an airtight container for 3-4 weeks and use it on cakes, cookies, and bread tops.