Monday, March 28, 2011

Hazelnut = Heaven

Lots of hazelnutsImage via Wikipedia
All this research on pirates and paganism is making me hungry... What's a writer to do? I can't step away from the keyboard more than a few minutes, the thread is like an anchor, but other people are howling for nourishment around here. (It's 3 pm on Friday, as I'm writing this. I didn't have lunch.)

A quick piece of chocolate is my favorite pick-me-up snack, but chocolate and hazelnuts... well, that's heaven for me. I first tried Nutella as a teen on vacation in Canada. We couldn't even get the stuff here yet, unless a specialty grocer carried it. Now I can pick up a double pack at Costco. :D

My standby is a quick Nutella sandwich, but Giada de Laurentis goes crazy and makes all sorts of yummy stuff with it. Heck, everybody's doing it now! (There's a link to some rather yummy looking Nutella Cheesecake bars below.) Unfortunately, even a double pack doesn't go very far in this house - so not much is left for recipes. World Nutella Day is February 5th, btw, in case you have an awesome recipe and want to commemorate the day. (Please share it with us!)

Here's the did-you-know part:

The Turkish Black Sea coast is the largest source of hazelnuts in the world.

Yup! I did not know that, until I started paying attention to ingredients after I had kids. The label on the Milka chocolate bar I picked up at World Market mentioned Turkey. (If you like Nutella, you must try a Milka bar!)

So since Turkey is the largest producer of hazelnuts, it's reasonable that there's a national brand like Nutella. Çokokrem is probably the most widely known. Sometimes I'll find other brands, but the best indicator for quality is the amount of hazelnuts in the mix. The ones with high nut content brag about it on the label.

Turkish kids start the addiction at a young age:

Ülker Çokokrem by blognotte

There are lots of other hazelnutty things to like, if Nutella isn't for you. For example, Frangelico liquor (monk-shaped bottle in ref to the great painter/friar), or toasted hazelnut crusted anything...

Here in North Carolina, farmers are planting hazelnuts so they can grow truffles. I can't wait for Turkey to catch on to this one!  I should go buy some land on the Black Sea coast... maybe start a writers' retreat with some cute cottages tucked into the orchard for the off season. :)

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Sarah said...

Oh, Nutella. I can't buy it because I would make myself sick eating it straight from the jar!

Old Kitty said...

A Nutella sandwich or two a day is a must for my general well being and happiness!!! If I don't have this little snack, my world crashes about me and won't make sense!! :-) Yay for nutella!!! And all nutella like hazelnut choccie spread!!

p.s. I never knew Turkey was the world's largest producer of hazelnuts!! Yay!!!

Take care

PT Dilloway said...

Now I know...and knowing's half the battle.

Jules said...

I did not understand a word he was saying but the little guy made me laugh :)

Hazelnuts, Yum!
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Carolyn V said...

Wow! That is so cool. I, unfortunately, have terrible allergies to certain nuts. It's really sad.

Colene Murphy said...

MMmmm Nutella is delicious!!

Unknown said...

Now I'm starving and craving chocolate! Great post!

LTM said...

Have you ever used truffle oil? Amazing...

I'm a huge lover of the hazelnut + chocolate, but can you believe I've never fallen in love w/Nutella? I know... Had a friend who'd walk around eating it off a spoon! :D

But you've now made me hungry. Lunchtime! <3 xoxo

Deniz Bevan said...

Oh my, yes, definitely - I'd love to visit a writer's retreat on the Black Sea. With hazelnuts and lots of Cokokrem and Nutella. Dreaming...

Hart Johnson said...

I TOTALLY though Oregon was the world's largest producer of Hazelnuts... I must have gotten a misquote... I know they are the largest US producer, and I LOVE hazelnuts. The pub I worked at used to do a pasta with hazelnuts (and spinach, tomato and garlic) that was to die for--it was so good! I like hazelnut coffee and yes... hazelnut chocolate... said...

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