Hazelnut is the fruit of a small tree or shrub, which grows both spontaneously and cultivated. It is native to Asia Minor, from there it spread throughout the Mediterranean basin. It is a dry fruit consisting of a seed (the edible part) enclosed in a very hard, brown shell.

Hazelnuts are used in desserts and ice creams, but they can be also roasted, salted and served with aperitifs. It has a high food and energy value.

They are sold on the market between August and September. After about 15 days they are dried along with their shell (mainly in 45 ° ventilation ovens), to prevent the oil they contain from going rancid. Then they are stored in temperature-controlled cells, to ensure a low humidity level of the seed, where they can be stored for up to 2 years.

Hazelnuts in shell can be found on the fresh market in their natural state or polished. Hazelnut crops are concentrated in Campania, Lazio and Piedmont, the same regions where valuable varieties of hazelnuts are grown: Giffoni Igp (in the Salerno area), Romana Dop (in the territory of Viterbo) and Piemonte Igp (especially in the Cuneo area).

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