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Dec 4, 2010 07:12 AM

Do you call hazelnuts filberts?

Just curious. When I was growing up in Boston everyone I knew did. I'm wondering if it's a regional thing, or cultural (we're Jewish and pretty much only had them in the house around Chanukah).

Did you/do you call them filberts - and if so where are you from?

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  1. Yes. But I re-describe as hazelnuts to people who look at me quizzicly when I say 'filbert'.

    Detroit. Polish/Catholic family.

    Mom still calls them filberts. She is 84.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Cathy

      Yes and no. I know they are onein the same and find myself trying to convince others of the fact. More commonly though, in my area of Northern New Jersey/NYC they are known as hazelnuts, unless you are speaking to older Italians, who most always call them filberts.

      1. re: fourunder

        "Hazelnut" has mostly supplanted the older "Filbert" most everywhere, I think. Maybe ex ept for old Italians and maybe even in Oregon, where many of my grad school buddies would go pick filberts for a few beer bucks back in the day.

        1. re: bob96

          No Italians in my family, and hardly any in our part of Illinois, but everyone I knew said "filbert." We were aware that "hazelnut" was another name for the same thing, just didn't use it. I think this is another good example of mass communications flattening out local differences, with more widely common names for things displacing colloquial usage.

          I'm still trying to understand how poblanos got to be officially named "pasillas" …

          1. re: Will Owen

            In Washington State, the wild ones (which were pretty common in the woods) were called hazlenuts. Their bigger cultivated cousins were called filberts.

            1. re: Will Owen

              Poblanos = pasillas? NOT! That's just gringo ignorance!

              1. re: Veggo

                Go buy some poblanos at the supermarket and that'll be how they're labelled and how they scan. I have read that people in some pockets of Mexico do DO call the dark-green heart-shaped chiles "pasillas" - so I'm guessing that when the USDA asked their resident Mexican what those are called, that's where he was from.

                1. re: Will Owen

                  Innocent errors occur. I blame the gringos on this one. And I am one...

                2. re: Perilagu Khan

                  PK , we are simpatico hermanos, the best way to be. I am comfortable poking fun at anyone, anywhere, any time, especially myself. For this, others wish me an early demise. Go figure.

                  1. re: Veggo

                    Heh heh. They've censored my post, precisely proving my point. Man, it's amazing how un-self aware and shameless some people are. **sigh** But this is the type of world the West is becoming.

                  2. re: Perilagu Khan

                    in group out group. you may make fun of the group you're in. plz specify ;-)

              2. re: fourunder

                Ha! I hadn't thought of the word "filbert" in years but that's just what the older Italians in my family called them when they cracked them after Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. Never even realized they were the same thing.

            2. I am from Washington State......... and we invented hazelnuts (kinda kidding). We call them hazelnuts :)

              1. White trash gentile from the West Texas bulrushes. Grew up calling them filberts and still do. And outside of a few people in my fambly and passadumkeg, they're my favorite nuts.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                  Houston here. Back in the 60's my big brother and his best friend held me down and shoved a nut in my nostril. To this day I remember the name, a filbert. It took me a while to extract it.

                  1. Brought up in England I remember them as cob nuts, and a very little research online suggests that 'cob' and 'filbert' were names given to the nuts from different species of hazelnut that yielded different shaped nuts.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: andrewtree

                      Yeah I've heard that one as well, the round dark reddish ones are hazels, the longer more pale orange ones were filberts/cobnuts. Ive also heard a three tiered system based on how far the husk extends around the nut's shell; if it was shorter than the nut it was a hazel, more or less equal a filbert much longer a cobnut. Problem is, the same tree can yield nuts of more than one type in either classification (there is also the fact that, under the second system, the two american species would have to be classified as the american filbert and the beaked cobnut, and they're both hazels)

                      1. re: andrewtree

                        English here as well, never heard of hazelnuts being called filberts but have heard of cob nuts. But Leicester City Football Club played at Filbert St from 1891-2002, wonder where the name came from?

                        1. re: smartie

                          "Filbert" comes from St. Philibert. Apparenty, the Saint's feast day (Aug 20) tended to sync up roughly with the time the hazels were ripe and ready to pick in England.

                          1. re: jumpingmonk

                            You may be right about the origins. St Philibert was French and, after the conquest of England in 1066, many words came across the Channel and were incorporated into English usage. Our main area still for for growing hazelnuts is the county of Kent - only 21 miles from France - although now much reduced from the 2800 hectares a hundred years ago to around 300 now.

                            1. re: Harters

                              Well the source did say the the term was Norman French in origin. There is also the fact that the basis is sound. After all in the days before the common man had regular acess to calenders, dates were often calculated from the proximity to varios holy days, so it is likey that the average English nut forager (I almost said "the average English nutter!" g>) wound not have though of the season as being "around the 20th of August" but as being "around the Feast of St. Philibert" (sorta similar to how the autumn term at some of the old english schools is stilled called the Michelmas term, since its starts roughly around the Feast of St. Michael)

                              1. re: jumpingmonk

                                can you imagine Cadbury's doing the commercial - 'Nuts, whole Filbert nuts, Cadbury's make em and they cover them in chocolate!!'

                                Fruit and nutcases huh?

                      2. Always called them hazelnuts. Parents spoke German at home when I was growing up and the German word (hazelnuss ) is similar. The nut wasn't that popular among other people where I lived (Pa. Dutch country ) and by the time they'd become more well known, most ppl called them hazelnuts.

                        They've always been my favorite nut!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: nofunlatte

                          Grew up in german midwest area and only called them hazelnuts although we knew they were filberts too. The only real exposure we had when young was in bags of mixed nuts at christmas time. Later noticed they were popular in european chocolate bars.