The mystical hazelnut, fruit of the hazel tree, sits at the crossroads of myth, mystery, and magic. In Irish mythology, nine hazel trees circle the Pool of Knowledge in the Otherworld. They drop their purple nuts into the pool, where the Salmon of Knowledge (you can’t make this stuff up), eager to eat the nuts jumps, splashing water from the pool and into our realm. Anyone who’s touched by these waters gains the gift of poetry and prophecy. This leads to the following conversation:
“So, how did you become a poet?”
“I got splashed with some water by a magic salmon.”
Piscatorial magic aside, hazelnuts are also known as filberts. Somehow, filbert can’t quite pull of the whole magic nut thing. It might be because filbert sounds like the name of the flatulent pug your aunt owned or the town in West Texas where you got a flat tire on your last road trip.
In any event, no matter what you call them, hazelnuts are delicious and nowhere more so than in Nocciolata Organic Hazelnut Spread. The fine folks at Nocciolata have combined organic hazelnuts, cocoa and milk to create a product that is literally magic. My kids can make a jar disappear in no time flat. But that’s ok, because organic hazelnuts are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Try it spread on a good piece of homemade bread. Go ahead, camouflage celery with it. And a dollop on a teaspoon is the perfect treat for those glorious instances when my sprogs are fabulously well-behaved. It’s no magic salmon, but it is nutritious and delicious.