Hazelnuts Great Wild Survival Food
Photo taken by User cloud7 in Piemont, Italy, June 2004. Photo license
Hazelnut Identification: First you need to know the range of the tree to know if you should even be on the lookout for this food. American Hazelnut trees can be found from the East Coast of North America westward to a line extends from Louisiana to North Dakota exclding Florida. Other species of Hazelnut can be found out west. American Hazelnut trees grow on rich and moist soils. They prefer sunny to partially shady areas along streams, fields, and edges of the forest. So you should be able to find some species of Hazelnut in just about any area. The tree can be identified by using these BRF's (Brief Recognition Factors).
1. Alternately aranged Heart Shape Leaves.
2. Leaf darker on front than the back.
3. Small tree or big shrub. Grows up to 12 Feet (3.65 meters) tall shruby tree.
4. Distinctive acorn looking nut in the summer NOT the fall.
5. Usually multi-stemmed at the base.
6. Leaves are 6 inches long and 4.5 inches(11.4 cm) across; they are oval-ovate and the leaf margin is doubly serrate.
The Hazelnuts aka Filberts have a think, brown skin which has a bitter flavor and should be removed before eating. The seed is used raw or roasted, or ground into a paste. Hazelnuts can be and are grown commercially in small orchards.