Hazelnuts have an interesting history here in New York. We actually have quite a few planted ourselves, but like many farmers with hazelnuts, ours are too young to produce.
There is a hazelnut native to America, and Native Americans have used its oil and meal for cooking and the nut milking for drinking for centuries, but the native hazelnuts have a thicker exterior and are harder to harvest commercially, so farmers have moved away from them.
The European hazelnut (of Italian baci chocolate fame!) was imported and became so important to the early colonists that General Washington sent troops to guard the first hazelnut nursery, which was established in Flushing in 1737, during the Revolutionary War.
Sadly these larger European hazelnuts are susceptible to a hazelnut blight endemic to the Eastern U.S., so you don’t find those grown in New York anymore outside of some experimental strains coming from Rutgers.
I really wanted to offer whole roasted hazelnuts as one of our treats, because it’s a taste folks aren’t so familiar with that really resonates, so, while we’re waiting for our hazelnuts to mature, we’ve partnered with a farm in Oregon to bring you snacking nuts with local flavors.
First, we make a powder of our own dried chilis and rosemary (chopped fresh when in season), which we infuse into maple syrup from Tree Juice in the Catskills. Then we toss and roast the nuts, stirring often to make sure each quarter-sized nut gets a healthy coat of infused maple.
Ingredients: Freddy Guys freshly-roasted hazelnuts, Tree Juice maple syrup, Miyoko’s vegan butter (organic coconut oil, organic cultured cashew milk (filtered water, organic cashews, cultures), filtered water, organic sunflower oil, organic sunflower lecithin, organic cultured dextrose, natural flavors), our own rosemary, our own dried pepper, Amagansett Sea Salt sea salt.