Native to Asia Minor, the hazelnut is well known for being an ancient plant and one of the first to be cultivated by man. Its first appearance in nature dates back to about 5000 years ago and both Greeks and Romans, as well as being expert connoisseurs, were among the first discoverers of the innate medicinal and medicinal qualities of this precious fruit.
Fruit tasty and tasty, the hazelnut is easily consumed on our tables both fresh or to be tasted as dried fruit after lunch or as a snack tasty and protein. Perfect for use in the confectionery industry, lends itself well to savory preparations based on sanguine and juicy meats, with a turgid and fleshy consistency like roast, or reduced in cream for an excellent hazelnut pesto to combine with creamy risotto or as a filling in grains for delicious and succulent rolls.
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Nutritional properties of hazelnuts
Fruit with great energetic power owns a high content of fatty acids (oleic and linoleic), elements at the base of a good and healthy diet thanks to their innate ability to preserve from aging early e protect tissues from atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.
It contains a good percentage of sugars and carbohydrates as well as considerable quantities of iron, phosphorus, copper, zinc and magnesium, all vitamins capable of improving and facilitating cellular functioning. Rich source of phytosterols these substances they prove to be important in lowering the levels of bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
Hazelnuts along with almonds are counted among fruits more rich in vitamin E, substance essential for skin protection which preserves it both from cellular aging and from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays as well as defending itself from the onset of various types of tumor pathologies.
Rich in phytosterols, these substances contribute to the prevention of diseases affecting the cardiovascular system e they are excellent allies of the heart. Vitamin B6 contained therein turns out to be a valuable support for the nervous system and it’s useful in the production of myelin substance capable of increasing and to increase the speed and effectiveness of nerve impulses.
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Hazelnut harvesting period
Collection of these precious fruits takes place between the beginning of August and the end of October where each husk is manually detached from the plant and then proceeded to drying. By exposing the fruit to the sun, the husk tends to dry out more easily, especially in the Turkish variety or placed in baskets still in shell.
This traditional method comes very often replaced by machinery to optimize the process as well as guaranteeing a safer product. The next step involves the shelling and relative selection of the best fruits for food consumption.
Hazelnut: queen of Made in Italy
The hazelnuts are among the best known products of Made in Italy thanks to its profitable production in Italy as well as a selection of varieties with different features and tastes. Aromatic fruits of wide consumption Italian hazelnuts they ripen to perfection falling from the tree already without husk. This process is an undoubted advantage that can optimize harvesting and consequently increase productivity.
The region Italian which produces more hazelnuts is Lazio which sees the greatest concentration of harvest and production in the province of Viterbo. Campania follows whose fields in the province of Avellino provide an excellent native product and then Piedmont, region producer of a of the most famous varieties there Tonda Gentile of the Langhe which also sees protagonist there Tonda gentile Trilobata which obtained the IGP mark together with the Nocciola di Giffoni in Campania and the Tonda Gentile Romana PDO coming from Lazio.
Hazelnuts: why leave them to soak
One method known to enjoy to the best of all the nutritional properties of these fruits so delicious is to soak the hazelnuts in cold water for a few hours, but also all night to benefit from its immense nutritional properties in the best possible way and in a healthy and healthy way. Dried fruit and seeds in general in prolonged contact with water allow the reduction of the quantity of phytic acid naturally present in these fruits, so as to improve the bioavailability of mineral salts and vitamins, precious substances for the correct functioning of our organism.
Storage of hazelnuts
Hazelnuts like other nuts are products available all year round and it is suggested to buy them already shelled even better if in vacuum packs to preserve its freshness as much as possible. Hazelnuts without shell they can also be stored in the refrigerator taking care to put them in an airtight container while those with the shell they keep well at room temperature in wicker baskets preserving them from direct contact with light and in a cool and dry environment.