General allergy information
There are "two types" of hazelnut allergy.
The first is potentially severe, where common symptoms include breathing difficulties.
The second relates to tree pollen allergy and occurs because of cross-reactivity between tree pollen and hazelnut pollen. These reactions are almost invariably mild (such as itching in the mouth, or swelling of the mouth at the most). People affected may also have mild reactions to soft fruit.
If you are allergic to hazelnuts, it is important to know which category you are in. A doctor's advice is essential.
Hazelnuts are eaten raw and used as ingredients in various baked goods and sweets, such as nougat, praline, chocolate spread and ice cream.
Hazelnut oil can be used in baking or in a salad dressing.
Hazelnut butter is produced and is the equivalent of peanut butter. It is found in supermarkets as well as whole food shops.
In Europe hazelnuts are made into liqueurs of which the best known is Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur.
Hazelnuts are also ground and may be used to produce two ethnic products:
- Dukkah is a spicy dry dip – bread is dipped into it and then into olive oil and eaten; it can also be used as a seasoning mix.
- Za'atar is a mixture of sesame seeds, herbs and spices to which hazelnuts may sometimes be added to create a varying flavour. It is mixed with oil and sprinkled over a variety of items including salads, soups and white cheese.
In parts of the UK the hazelnut is referred to as a filbert or as a cob nut.
Like peanut oil, hazelnut oil is thought to be low risk if it is highly refined. However the oil is normally used for its flavour and so should be assumed to be unrefined.
As well as being used in baking it is also suitable and used for purposes such as shallow frying fish, especially trout.
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