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hazelnuts

Hazelnuts are rich in protein and unsaturated fat. Moreover, they contain significant amounts of thiamine and vitamin B6, as well as smaller amounts of other B vitamins. Common Hazel is cultivated for its nuts in commercial orchards in Europe, Turkey, Iran and Caucasus. This hazelnut or cobnut, the kernel of the seed, is edible and used raw or roasted, or ground into a paste. The seed has a thin, dark brown skin which has a bitter flavour and is sometimes removed before cooking. The top producer of hazelnuts, by a large margin, is Turkey. Turkish hazelnut production of 625,000 tonnes accounts for approximately 75% of worldwide production.

Hazelnuts are extensively used in confectionery to make praline and also used in combination with chocolate for chocolate truffles and products such as Nutella. In the USA, hazelnut butter is being promoted as a more nutritious spread than its peanut butter counterpart, though it has a higher fat content. In Austria and especially in Vienna hazelnut paste is an important ingredient in the world famous torts (such as Viennese hazelnut tort) which are made there. Vodka-based Hazelnut liqueurs, such as Frangelico, are also increasing in popularity, especially in the U.S. and eastern Europe.