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Where to Buy High-Quality Hazelnuts


Jim D.
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I am looking for quality hazelnuts. I have purchased them from nuts.com; these taste OK, but the husks are not well removed and the nuts are often very irregular in shape. Yes, I am fussy, but I am using some of these for the decoration of dipped chocolate bonbons. I have seen Piedmontese hazelnuts highly recommended, but don't see a ready place to purchase them. I have also heard good things about Oregon nuts. Freshness is, needless to say, crucial since there is nothing worse than a rancid hazelnut. Surprisingly I have been able to buy them in bulk at a local grocery store, but COVID has caused the removal of all bulk bins (and, with that, of the hazelnuts). Thanks for any help.

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11 minutes ago, pastrygirl said:

Do you have a Trader Joe’s nearby?  They have Oregon hazelnuts, raw or lightly toasted and semi-skinned, around $7-8/lb

 

There's one about 35 miles away, so I could get to that. But in my search for previous eG references to hazelnuts, I saw a post about something inferior being substituted for the previous TJ ones (can't find that post right now but I think Thailand was mentioned as the source).

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Sunnylandfarms.com has whole raw hazelnuts, I've always had excellent quality from them over the years.  I'm buying hazelnuts from my distributor in 5# bags but that's because I detest peeling the skins off.  (The best method I've used for that is to boil them briefly with some baking soda, rinsing/rubbing in a towel and then toasting them.  I still hate doing it.)

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5 minutes ago, JeanneCake said:

Sunnylandfarms.com has whole raw hazelnuts, I've always had excellent quality from them over the years.  I'm buying hazelnuts from my distributor in 5# bags but that's because I detest peeling the skins off.  (The best method I've used for that is to boil them briefly with some baking soda, rinsing/rubbing in a towel and then toasting them.  I still hate doing it.)

 

Thanks for the tip.  I agree about the  chore of peeling hazelnuts. I did it the baking soda way once, and even then it was very nasty. I'll pay anyone else almost anything to do it for me. By your distributor, did you perchance mean AUI?

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49 minutes ago, JeanneCake said:

Sunnylandfarms.com has whole raw hazelnuts, I've always had excellent quality from them over the years.  I'm buying hazelnuts from my distributor in 5# bags but that's because I detest peeling the skins off.  (The best method I've used for that is to boil them briefly with some baking soda, rinsing/rubbing in a towel and then toasting them.  I still hate doing it.)

 

I found the answer myself regarding AUI--they don't carry hazelnuts. And in addition, Sunnylandfarms doesn't list hazelnuts as available.

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1 hour ago, Jim D. said:

 

There's one about 35 miles away, so I could get to that. But in my search for previous eG references to hazelnuts, I saw a post about something inferior being substituted for the previous TJ ones (can't find that post right now but I think Thailand was mentioned as the source).

 

Hm, maybe Turkey, they grow a lot of hazelnuts.  Thailand is too hot!  I wouldn't say Turkish hazelnuts are necessarily inferior, but I do feel silly buying them when Oregon is only 200 miles away.

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21 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

 

I don't suppose you would like to hike out/drive out and pick some from the trees to send me.

 

Y'all are doing commercial stuff. For home use I have no problem with  a bit of skin on. If really going group effort (like a tamale or dumpling session)  I enjoy fresh in shell nut cracking, lightly toasting, and outdoors for the rubbing skin removal - outdoors for less mess.  Course they re only seasonally available - 

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I have purchased some hazelnuts from Freddy Guys in Oregon (thanks, @curls, for the tip). They are more or less peeled (the contact said about 80%, which is less than I would like). I did find the Piedmontese ones via Amazon, they looked luscious, but alas at 250g for $18, they were a little rich even for my blood, considering the quantities I need. That's compared to the 1361g for $40 I'm paying at Freddy Guys.

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7 hours ago, Jim D. said:

 

Thanks for the tip.  I agree about the  chore of peeling hazelnuts. I did it the baking soda way once, and even then it was very nasty. I'll pay anyone else almost anything to do it for me. By your distributor, did you perchance mean AUI?

No, I meant Gordon Food Service; I can get skinned hazelnuts from them.  They're ok, not as good as what I would expect to get if AUI sold them (they aren't selling pistachios any more either :() but I can only get the chopped ones from Restaurant Depot and usually you have to ask for them (and pine nuts!) at the service desk because people were stealing them so they  had to move them 🙄

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