Scientific name – Corylus avellana
Hazelnuts can be eaten on their own, roasted, salted, or sweetened. Chopped hazelnuts are often used in cakes, biscuits or crumbles. They have also been ground up and mixed with flour to be made into tasty breads. Today, hazelnuts are also used in luxury foods such as chocolate and in a popular hazelnut butter. Fresh green hazelnuts are common in most ancient hedgerows, and can be eaten straight from the tree. In their fresh, green state they are quite different from the hard, brown-shelled hazels they will eventually become when left to dry and mature. Their flesh is crisp and crunchy with a sweet, vegetable taste. Hazelnuts were once a very important crop in southern England where some traditional forms are still existence.