We Oregonian’s are quite fond of our local hazelnut orchards, which makes sense when you consider they bring to life our beloved state nut. As fall wanes and Christmas approaches we’ve suddenly found ourselves in the thick of nut season, and with a whopping 99% of all U.S. hazelnuts hailing from our very Willamette Valley, that means there are a lot of the little guys to be found. Local restaurants and food carts feature our pride and joy in seasonal dishes, chocolatiers chop and grind ‘em for truffles and treats, and shops roast and candy them before stuffing fancy packages to sell as holiday gifts. Even the shell is precious to our northwest culture, as it can be found in many-a front yard as mulch and a protective barrier against slugs and snails.
Lucky for us – and thanks to some pretty sweet weather conditions – the 2013 hazelnut harvest brought in a record haul with production up almost 8% from last year. What does this mean? Why, party time, of course! Enter Mt. Angel’s Annual Hazelnut Fest December 7th & 8th, featuring everything Oregon, including your Eat Team’s very favorite subjects: seasonal food, Willamette Valley wines, and Oregon brews! Buy local, eat local, be local, and everybody wins!
Until next time, we are Allen Jones and Angie Johnson, and we love to EAT!
Eat Adventures Food Tours offers culinary and sight-seeing excursions around Portland in into Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Mt. Hood, and beaches. For additional tour information please visit our home page.