What Does Hazelnut Taste Like?

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Quick Answer: What Does Hazelnut Taste Like? 

Hazelnuts are the nuts of the hazel tree, and they have a nutty and earthy sweet taste when raw. Their unique flavors are more pronounced once they are roasted. Though they are sweet, the skin of the hazelnut is bitter. So, it is best to peel it beforehand. 

Here is a comprehensive guide on the flavor, texture, and properties of hazelnuts. 

Let’s start! 

What is Hazelnut? 

Hazelnuts are the nuts of the hazel tree. It is also known as filberts.

They are harvested when ripe and have distinct brown skin and an edible cream kernel within. Hazelnuts are popularly used to flavor food, like coffee, chocolate, or spreads like Nutella

They have high nutritional value and are rich in healthy fats.

They are commonly found in European and American regions. 

More about Hazelnuts in this video –

What Does Hazelnut Taste Like? 

Hazelnuts have a distinct nutty and earthy taste. There is a slightly toasted feel to its flavor. The kernel has a buttery and subtly sweet taste, while the thin skin has a bitter taste. Hence, the skin of the hazelnut is usually discarded.

When roasted, the sweet and buttery feel is lost. The roasted hazelnuts then get a crunchy and nutty taste.

But due to the unique ketones found in hazelnut, the roasted hazelnuts still retain the unique flavor that we associate with hazelnuts.

Texture-wise, they are smooth and chewy. They can have some crunch but nothing as pronounced as that of peanuts or almonds.

When roasted, they lose their creamy feel and get crunchier.

Does Hazelnut Taste Like Chocolate? 

Although hazelnuts are commonly paired with chocolates and are the prime ingredient in the popular chocolate spread – Nutella – hazelnut has a different and distinct flavor from chocolate. While chocolate can be bitter or sweet depending on the type, hazelnuts are more nutty and earthy in comparison.

Does Hazelnut Taste Like Coffee? 

Hazelnut is often used as a flavoring ingredient in coffees, but they do not taste the same as coffee. Though there are similarities in flavor, both hazelnut and coffee have distinct flavors that marry well together. 

Is Hazelnut Sweet or Bitter? 

The essential taste of the hazelnut is on the sweet (mild) side. The kernels are buttery and sweet, but the skin that covers the kernel is quite bitter, which can be off-putting.

So, most prefer to peel the hazelnuts before eating them to avoid the bitter taste.

Are Hazelnuts Supposed to be Soft? 

Raw hazelnuts can feel soft and chewy. They can also lack any strong tastes or flavors. hazelnuts get crunchy and more flavorful after they are roasted. The roasting brings out the nutty flavor and makes it more palatable than the raw version. When roasted, they lose their creamy soft feel. 

What Are Some Flavors That Go with Hazelnuts? 

Hazelnut is most popularly combined with chocolates and coffee. It can also go quite well with a variety of fruits, from apricots and berries to apples and bananas. But not only does hazelnut go with these sweet flavors, but savory ones like dill, avocado, and garlic are also great combinations with hazelnut.

Can You Eat Hazelnut with Shell? 

Hazelnuts are eaten without the shell. They also taste better when skinned because the outer peel has a bitter taste. They should be shelled before roasting, and keeping the hazelnuts in the shell can also make them go rancid faster.

So, they are best stored shelled as well.

Can You Eat Hazelnuts Raw? 

Yes, you can eat raw hazelnuts, but they might not be flavorful or as great as the roasted version. It is just a matter of personal choice. Moreover, if it isn’t peeled, the bitterness of the skin can ruin the sweet buttery taste of the kernel.

So, while it is best recommended to prep and roast them or use them for flavoring, they can be eater raw.

Bottom Line

I hope this guide has cleared your doubts on what hazelnut tastes like and what to pair it with.

Feel free to share this article with your family and friends. 

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About Nancy Miller

Nancy is a foodie by heart and loves experimenting with food. She likes to experiment not only as part of academics but also as a cook at home, sometimes she does not get the desired outcome of these experiments though! But that doesn't stop her from trying more out-of-the-box things. When Nancy entered college, it became clear to her that food was going to be an important part of her life.

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