Hazelnuts have been a favorite of man since prehistoric days. They are considered a symbol of wisdom and knowledge, as well as fecundity and fertility, often featured in wedding traditions throughout Northern Europe. You’ll find references to hazelnuts in ancient Greek and Roman writings – the Greek philosopher Theophrastus (372-287 BC) described the benefits of hazelnuts in his works–and in the Bible, where hazelnuts are lauded for their nutritional and healing powers.
Hazelnuts, also known as filberts, have been grown in the Black Sea region of northern Turkey for at least 2,300 years and have been exported from the area for more than 600 years. The world’s highest quality hazelnuts come from the lush fields along the Black Sea of Turkey, which has the finest climate for growing hazelnuts.
More than 500,000 producers are involved in the cultivation, harvest, processing and sale of hazelnuts for the world to enjoy. Due to the exceptionally high quality of Turkish Hazelnuts, Turkey remains the leading global hazelnut producer and exporter. In fact, Turkey exports approximately 250,000 tons of hazelnut kernels annually to more than 100 countries around the world.
80% of the world’s hazelnuts are produced in Turkey and the Turkish family farmers producing hazelnuts are extremely proud of the hazelnut crop, as it has been part of their family histories for centuries.
Consumers are increasingly asking where their food comes from and how an ingredient has reached their plate. Turkish Hazelnuts help satisfy consumer cravings for novelty and specificity of origin. These nuts have an origin story that adds to their authenticity and favorability.