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What Does Hazelnut Taste Like? (Guide with Tips)


In today’s food guide, we’ll explore hazelnuts’ rich and distinctive flavor. And for those curious, you’ll finally know the answer to “what does hazelnut taste like?”

Hazelnut is one of the most favorite flavors in the world. A testament to this is the popularity of the brand Nutella. Considered the ultimate breakfast spread, hazelnuts have been a part of our diet for a long time. 

glass dish filled with whole hazelnuts.

What Is Hazelnut?

Hazelnuts have a hard outer shell with a white and sweet kernel inside.

Contrary to popular belief, hazelnuts are fruits and not nuts. In fact, there are a lot of “nuts” that are fruits by classification. This includes chestnuts and coconuts.

Where Do Hazelnuts come from?

Hazelnuts come from the hazel tree. Hazel trees are medium-sized trees and shrubs from the birch tree family.

They are prevalent in North America but also in many parts of Europe. The biggest producers of hazelnuts worldwide are Italy and Turkey.

Hazelnuts have a long cultivation history that dates back to the Middle Stone Age. In the mid-90s, researchers found a waste pit in Scotland that was over 8,000 years old. In the pit, they found tons of burned hazelnut shells. This was clear evidence of the early humans’ taste for hazelnuts.

What Does a Hazelnut Look Like?

Hazelnuts have oval or cylindrical shapes, sometimes called cobs or cobnuts. They have a rough husk surrounding their smooth brown shells. Once the fruit ripens, the nuts fall out of the husks.

Hazelnuts take 7 to 8 months to cultivate and are harvested during mid-fall.

What Does Hazelnut Taste Like?

Hazelnuts have many culinary uses. You can eat it raw or add it as a flavoring. But what does hazelnut taste like, especially when eaten fresh?

Fresh hazelnuts taste is rich and sweet. They also have an earthy and musty aftertaste. When raw, hazelnuts have a firm yet crunchy texture, making them a perfect snack.

They are often roasted to bring out the flavors more. Roasted hazelnuts are more palatable.

Different Types of Hazelnuts

There are many varieties of hazelnuts. There are three common varieties: common hazelnut, beaked hazelnut, and filberts. The flavor of different varieties of hazelnuts can vary.

The European varieties tend to be sweeter and nuttier, while the Turkish types are usually more earthy and aromatic.

Additionally, some types may have a slightly bitter or spicy flavor.

It is important to note that different brands can also produce different flavors due to different farming and roasting methods.

store shelf filled with packaged hazelnuts.

Does Hazelnut Taste Like Coffee?

No, hazelnuts don’t taste like coffee. However, they complement coffee very well.

The roasted nutty flavor is an excellent contrast to coffee’s strong and bitter flavors. It also enhances the flavor by giving it creamy and earthy tones.

What Does Hazelnut Coffee Taste Like?

Hazelnut coffee tastes sweet and nutty with a mixture of caramel and vanilla flavors.

It can be blended with other types of coffee or other flavors for more unique flavors variations. You can enhance hazelnut coffee taste with the addition of cream, sugar and cinnamon.

What Does Hazelnut Butter Taste Like?

Hazelnut butter tastes rich and fatty with a nutty aftertaste. Compared to other nut butter varieties, hazelnut butter is the creamiest.

It also has a higher fat content than peanut butter. This butter type goes well with toasted bread, pastries, or baked goods.

Does Hazelnut Butter Taste Like Peanut Butter?

Yes, hazelnut butter tastes like peanut butter. The main difference is that the hazelnuts offer a slightly less nutty flavor.

Hazelnut is also creamier, richer, and fattier than peanut butter.

What Does Hazelnut Creamer Taste Like?

Did you know that you can make your own hazelnut coffee by using flavored creamer? So, what does hazelnut creamer taste like? This type of creamer tastes like roasted hazelnuts.

It has a sweet taste and when you add it to the coffee, you’ll taste pleasant creamy hazelnut flavor.

What Does Hazelnut Milk Taste Like?

Plant-based milk options becoming more popular, especially among vegan diets. Aside from almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, there is also hazelnut milk. But what does hazelnut milk taste like?

Hazelnut milk has a creamy texture. It is sweeter and nuttier compared to other plant-based varieties. It’s delicious and a great addition to the diet. However, this kind is not as available at the stores.

What Does Hazelnut Soup Taste Like?

Hazelnut soup offers a unique flavor and it makes a perfect hearty and warming meal. It’s sweet, savory, and hearty at the same time.

Hazelnut soup is also called “hazelnut parsnip soup.” An interesting fact about this dish is that it’s Rapunzel’s favorite meal.

The soup usually made in winter season and combines parsnips, leeks, potatoes, onion, leeks, garlic and whole hazelnuts. It’s usually topped with butter or cream whens served.

Do Hazelnuts Taste Bitter?

Hazelnuts only taste bitter if you eat the outer skin. The meat inside supposed to taste sweet and nutty.

If the hazelnuts taste extremely bitter or rancid, it’s likely spoiled.

Do Hazelnuts Taste Like Chocolate?

Since these two ingredients are often paired together, does hazelnut taste like chocolate? No, they don’t share the same flavor profile. But, they are the perfect pair. 

There’s a reason why this is a popular food combination. The hazelnut has sweet, nutty, and earthy flavors.

Meanwhile, chocolates have a dark, intense, and bitter taste. Mixing them gives you a rich, sweet, nutty, and slightly bitter flavor.

Does Hazelnut Taste Like Nutella?

No, fresh hazelnuts don’t taste like Nutella. Although this spread contains these nuts, there are also added ingredients.

Aside from hazelnuts, producers add cocoa, sugar, and other flavorings. Nutella tastes closer to chocolate than hazelnuts.

What Does Hazelnut Taste Good With?

Hazelnuts taste good with almost anything.

  • They especially pair well with sweet ingredients like fruits, chocolate, caramel and honey.
  • You can eat them raw mixed with other nuts and fruits.
  • Hazelnut spread tastes excellent with bread, pastries, and desserts.
  • You can also use it as a flavoring for shakes, smoothies, or coffee.
  • They also used in savory dishes, such as soups and salads.

Hazelnuts Benefits

Like most fruits, hazelnuts have many nutritional benefits. They are rich in dietary fiber, fatty acids, and vitamins. When eating hazelnuts, the fiber content aids in digestion and promotes a healthy gut. 

Meanwhile, fatty acids may help in regulating blood pressure. These are also “healthy fats” which are good for the heart.

Hazelnuts are also high in vitamins A and E, which are antioxidants. These may help in cell production and building muscle tissues.

If you’re going to add hazelnuts to your diet, it’s best to eat them fresh.

What to do with Hazelnuts?

Hazelnut is a versatile ingredient. You can use them for most recipes or eat them on their own. Here are 5 creative ways that you can add hazelnuts to your diet.

1. Raw Snacks

Hazelnuts are edible right after harvest. Peel out the outer shells and eat them raw with cashews, roasted almonds, or dried fruits. You can chop them up before adding them to smoothies, oatmeal, salads, yogurt, cookies, brownies, ice cream and cakes.

2. Nut Butter

Hazelnut butter is a vegan alternative to dairy butter. It’s rich, creamy, and has a slightly nutty flavor. You can use this butter for spreads, baked goods, or mixed into overnight oats.

3. Oil

Hazelnut oil is a condensed oil that is warm, rich, and has a strong aroma. It’s often used in Italian cuisine or as flavoring in recipes. You can compare its taste to other specialty oils like olive oil.

4. Flavoring

Hazelnut flavoring is commonly seen in the supermarket. You have hazelnut coffee, creamers, flour, or powder. Hazelnut flour tastes excellent as an alternative to regular flour in brownie recipes. You can also use hazelnut powder for soups and stews.

5. Desserts

Hazelnut is a must-have pair for chocolate, vanilla, and other desserts. You’ll find this flavor in candy bars, ice cream, and even soda beverages. Hazelnut is a popular gelato flavor in Italy.

How to Store Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts have a long shelf life if you keep them in a cool dark place. If you have a cellar, this is preferable. At room temperature, they can last up to 6 months. You can also opt to keep them in the fridge. 

Chilled hazelnuts will stay fresh for at least 1 month. If you freeze the cobs, they can last up to 1 year. Always bring to room temperature first when eating hazelnuts.

Facts You Don’t Know About Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts have a rich cultural history.

  • In Europe, they are usually referred to as filberts. They also have traditional symbols often used in myths and folklore. Hazelnuts signify birth, beginnings, fertility, and immortality.
  • During the Middle Ages, people believed that hazel trees possessed magical qualities. They used the branches as protection against snakes, witches, or creatures. They also used the twigs to douse for water or search for treasure.
  • In Germany, hazel is often used as a euphemism for sexuality. For example, “going behind hazel bushes” meant meeting secretly. This was an allusion to infidelity. So, when you say that someone “came from the hazel bushes,” it means that the person was an illegitimate child. 
Is It Safe To Eat Raw Hazelnuts?

Yes, it’s safe to eat raw hazelnuts. It has a sweet flavor that tastes better when smoked, roasted, or baked.

Can I Pick Green Hazelnuts?

Yes, you can pick green hazelnuts. It will still turn brown and ripen if you store it in a cool, dry place.

Why Do Hazelnuts Smell Weird?

Hazelnuts smell “weird” because of their naturally occurring compounds. One of these compounds is bean pyrazine, which is commonly found in nuts. The smell resembles peas and beans, with an earthy and nutty scent.

Do Hazelnuts Go Rancid?

Yes, if they’re stored for too long or exposed to moisture. They will taste rancid, which is extremely bitter.

How Long Do Hazelnuts Last In The Fridge Or Freezer?

Hazelnuts can stay fresh for up to 1 month in the fridge. In the freezer, you can extend their shelf life to 1 year.

Summary

Hazelnuts are fruits that come from the hazel tree. Hazels primarily grow in North America and Europe. They are typically ready for harvest after 8 months.

But what does hazelnut taste like? Fresh hazelnuts are sweet with subtle earthy and musty tastes. There are many culinary uses for hazelnuts. They are often used as nut butter, flavoring, and dessert filling.

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Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!

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