Nutella and hazelnut coffee are my only experience with hazelnuts. I didn’t even know what they looked like.
Then I was at the store, and they had little bags of shelled hazelnuts!
They also had dried currants. But one new food at a time.
So I tried them out raw. They were eh. Kind of oily and bitter. Where was that lovely Nutella flavor?
Then I happened across the blog Chocolate and Zucchini, and she has a lovely section on roasting hazelnuts. All you do is:
Toss the nuts on a cookie sheet under the broiler
Broil until the skins turn black and crack off. (I messed with them about 10 minutes.)
Then pour the nuts into a dish towel and rub them to flake off all the bitter skins.
You’re left with a pile of delicious golden brown Nutella-tasting hazelnuts. They’re completely different than their raw flavor. Like how almonds change when roasted.
Now I have to figure out what to do with them! I might do granola. Or baked oatmeal. Or just candy them. Mmmmm!