The Oregon Hazelnut industry is kicking off 2018 in a big way! Today, Oregon Governor Kate Brown proclaimed January to be “Oregon Hazelnut Growers and Handlers Appreciation Month.” This honor coincides with the Oregon Hazelnut’s 29th anniversary as the official State Nut of Oregon.
“The industry is proud of its exponential growth and sustainability innovations, and this is another reason to celebrate Oregon’s favorite nut,” said Geoff Horning, CEO of Oregon Hazelnuts.
The commercial hazelnut industry has flourished in the Willamette Valley for more than 100 years, and Oregon now produces 99 percent of the U.S. Hazelnut crop. About 800 farm families grow hazelnuts on 67,000 acres in the Willamette Valley, and many are third and fourth-generation orchardists.
Thanks to Oregon’s temperate ocean, volcanic soil, mountain and river climate, Oregon is prime hazelnut growing country. So much so, that more than 3,000 acres are being planted each year. The growers are continually working to produce the highest-quality hazelnuts in the world, maintaining the industry’s respected reputation.
During Oregon Hazelnut Growers and Handlers Appreciation Month, all Oregonians are encouraged to celebrate our State Nut, and the farmers and handlers who take great care to produce it. Here’s a couple of tasty options we recommend celebrating with:
- New Year, New Brew. Cans of Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar Beer debuted January 1 with an updated design, featuring a hand-drawn cracked hazelnut, bringing the Pacific Northwest twist to the inside and out.
- Burgerville’s famous Chocolate Hazelnut Milkshake is back, but for a limited time only. This delicious shake combines rich chocolate with the sweet, roasted flavor of Oregon-grown hazelnuts, blended into real ice cream topped with whipped cream and ground hazelnuts.
- Salt & Straw just revealed its January flavors, and Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge tops the list. It incorporates hazelnut milk, hazelnut butter, cocoa powder and homemade, gluten-free brownies.