Hazelnut flavoring is everywhere. It's in coffee, spreads and desserts, but it can be difficult to assess what the flavor of an actual hazelnut is. That's why we're diving into the world of hazelnuts and answering all your questions about taste and texture. We'll also give you some helpful prep tips and recipe ideas you're going to want to try.
Let's get started...
What Do Hazelnuts Taste Like?
Raw hazelnuts are decadent. They're rich and delicately sweet on the inside, though the papery skin is bitter. That's why it's a common practice to remove the skins before eating them.
There's a creaminess to hazelnuts that people love. They're even described as buttery, though less buttery than pralines. If you're snacking on roasted hazelnuts, you'll find them stronger in flavor than raw hazelnuts.
The texture of hazelnuts is as creamy as the taste. They're smooth with a nice crunch, though not like peanuts or almonds.
Roasted hazelnuts, on the other hand, are crunchier, just like most roasted nuts. Just be careful not to roast them too long or they'll lose their creamy texture.
Do Hazelnuts Taste Like Chocolate?
As a flavoring, hazelnut is frequently paired with chocolate. But while you could say that hazelnut and chocolate share a depth of flavor, they don't really taste alike.
That said, chocolate and hazelnuts do taste amazing together. There's just something wondrous about the sweet and nutty combo.
How Do You Eat Hazelnuts in the Shell?
A nutcracker will assist you in shelling hazelnuts. Just give the nutcracker a squeeze around the hazelnuts until the shells break open. If you don't have a nutcracker, place the hazelnuts in a plastic bag or kitchen towel and tap them with a hammer.
After you get rid of the shells, dry them in an aerated container, preferably somewhere warm (but not humid) for a few days. Then you can roast them and de-husk them, which we'll show you below.
How to Prepare Hazelnuts
There are several neat approaches to getting the skins off of the shelled hazelnuts, and none of them require fancy kitchen equipment. Once you've taken care of the husks, you can get to the good part—making vegan Nutella.
In this video, the husks of hazelnuts are removed via two different methods using a colander and a kitchen towel. They're both very simple, so it's all about your personal preference.
Nutella isn't vegan, but you can make a vegan version with freshly roasted hazelnuts as shown in this video. Bonus: you'll see another method of de-husking hazelnuts. Here's what you'll need for the Nutella:
- Roasted hazelnuts
- Coconut sugar
- Cocoa powder
- Sea salt
Hazelnuts might be a bit of a process to get ready for eating right from the shell, but it's so worth it to follow every step. The best part about roasting your own hazelnuts is that you can turn them into creamy, chocolaty vegan Nutella.