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Hazelnut is the nut of the hazel in the birch family of Betulaceae, native to the temperate Northern Hemisphere. Hazelnut applies to the nuts of any of the hazel species in the genus Corylus. Hazelnut is also known as Cob Nut or Filbert Nut, according to species.
The nut of Corylus avellana, Common Hazel or Cob Nut, is a roughly spherical to oval, 1-2.5 cm long and 1-2 cm diameter, with the smooth shell surrounded by a involucre (husk). The nut falls out of the husk when ripe, after 7-8 months after pollination. The nut has a thin, dark brown skin which has a bitter taste, and is sometimes removed before cooking. The nut is edible and used raw or roasted, or ground into a paste.
The nut of Corylus maxima, Filbert, is about 1.5-2.5 cm long, fully enclosed in a 3-5 cm long, tubular involcre (husk), borne in cluster of 1-5 together. The Filbert nut is edible, and normally use as large filler (along with peanuts as small filler) in most container of mixed nuts.
Hazelnuts are extensively used in confectionery, chocolate industry, and also as cooking oil. Hazelnuts are rich in protein and unsaturated fat, with a significant amounts of thiamine and vitamin B6, and traces of other vitamins.