I grew up in New Jersey, lived in a bunch of places mostly east of the Mississippi until almost four years ago when we moved to Oregon. I call them hazelnuts. Born and raised Oregonians call them filberts.
Oregon’s Willamette Valley has about 650 Oregon farm families growing hazelnuts on 28,400 acres. This provides about 90% of all the nut use in the nation and accounts for the third largest crop worldwide after those grown in Turkey and Italy.
As I wrote before in this blog, Tackling a Standard, my kids love Nutella so my task even before I became a commercial food processor was to make a hazelnut spread with chocolate for them. Last year we made a few small batches and they sold out at the McMinnville Farmers’ Market.
Today, we tackled the task again and there is no doubt in my mind we have turned a wonderful corner on production. Both the plain and chocolate versions are amazing……you have to come taste!!
Filbert’s Chocolate Revenge – Known everywhere else as a filbert, the local hazelnuts are offered in a chocolate spread. Perfect on toast but also can be used to make an amazingly decorative breakfast bread. Portland’s Creo 73% chocolate once again is the star. This is not going to taste the same as the one you know because the ingredient list is shorter, with no artificial anything. 9 ounce jar $10. Ingredients: hazelnuts, chocolate (with cane sugar), vanilla. See the Recipe Page for a cookie that uses this as a filling.
Nutty Hazel’s Spread – No, this is not about how my wacky cousin is losing her waistline. This is about one of Oregon’s world famous agricultural crops, the filbert! This delicious nut spread will be available only in small batches and maybe, just maybe, we will make it to the next harvest in the fall. 9 ounce jar $10. Ingredients: hazelnuts, that’s all!