Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wanted: Wild Hazelnuts!

To help expand the genetic diversity of the hazelnuts in our breeding program, we’re asking citizens to be on the lookout for American hazelnuts (Corylus americana) that are growing naturally. They likely will be found within their natural range, which is from the Great Plains eastward, except in Florida.

If you find a hazelnut bush that's 8-15 feet tall, please email us at with the subject line: Wild American Hazelnut Found. Include your name, location of the hazelnut bush, height and width of the bush, diameter and weight of nuts if found and, if possible, photos of flowers, nuts or leaves. After reviewing your information, we'll contact you and let you know if we would like a sample of your wild hazelnut and the proper procedure for sampling.

Besides acquiring wild American hazelnuts, Consortium members have collected hazelnuts in Turkey and the Georgia Republic where hazelnuts are plentiful, and have access to USDA plant germplasm and various private sources. 

Collecting unrelated hazelnuts from around the world and combining the best traits of each will help us create cold hardy, disease-resistant, drought tolerant, high-yielding hazelnut plants. 

For more information about this project, visit our website at www.

Here’s what to look for:

American hazelnut involucres with nuts inside
Leaves of the American hazelnut
American hazelnut leaves in the fall

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hazelnuts Are Heart-Healthy & Delicious

We roasted some of last year's hazelnut crop this week -- yum! We placed them in a 350 oven for 15 minutes and they were perfect (watch closely though, as your oven may vary). After roasting, rub the hazelnuts in a towel while still warm to remove the skins.

Hazelnuts are a rich source of protein, vitamin E, folate, B vitamins and arginine, and are one of the best nut sources of heart-healthy mono- and poly-unsaturated fats.

Here are three more easy recipes!

Seasoned Roasted Hazelnuts
  • 2 cups Oregon hazelnuts
  • 1/6 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • dash Tabasco
Melt butter in saucepan; stir in salt, Worcestershire, garlic powder, Tabasco and hazelnuts. Turn into shallow pan. Bake in 275 oven for 20 minutes. (Oregon Hazelnut Marketing Board)

Honey-Spiced Oregon Hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 4 cups roasted Oregon hazelnuts
In a saute pan over medium heat, warm olive oil. Add garlic, cumin, Tabasco and honey. Stir the mixture, reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often. Do not burn. Add the nuts and stir to coat well. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper or foil. Spread the coated nuts in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Serve as a snack or as a garnish for soups or salads. Yield: about 4 cups. (Oregon Hazelnut Marketing Board)

 Hazelnut, Brie & Apple Appetizer
  • 1 cup roasted & chopped Oregon hazelnuts
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 ounces brie cheese (rind trimmed), room temperature
  • 1 tart apple, grated
Blend well the cream cheese with the brie cheese. Add the hazelnuts and apple; blend. Spread on melba toast or crackers. (Oregon Hazelnut Marketing Board) 



Wednesday, March 7, 2012

New Consortium Test IDs EFB Sooner
EFB causes severe cankering and eventual
death of hazelnut plants.

Hazelnuts have the potential to be a major crop across many parts of the U.S. and southern Canada. Several characteristics contribute to this potential they’re a perennial crop requiring few inputs once established, they use less water and fossil fuel than annual crops, are drought resistant, can be grown on sloping land, and are adaptable to marginal soils.

One of the major barriers preventing widespread hazelnut production in the U.S. is susceptibility to eastern filbert blight (EFB), a fungal disease that kills European hazelnuts. Hybrid Hazelnut Consortium member Dr. Thomas Molnar at Rutgers has developed a real-time, PCR-based test to detect Anisogramma anomala (the pathogen that causes EFB) at an early stage. 

It was tested last spring and summer and found to be very effective, cutting the time to determine whether a plant is infected with EFB by as much as 18 months. Using this test will accelerate the Consortium’s research by allowing us to focus attention and resources on plants identified at an early stage as very likely to be EFB resistant.

This is a major step and means that more resistant plants will be in fields sooner to be evaluated for cold hardiness, heat tolerance, kernel quality and yield, and pest resistance.