Hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) belongs to the Betulaceae family. The hazel is a tree or shrub that may grow to 6 m high, exhibiting deciduous leaves. These are rounded, 6—12 cm in length and width, softly hairy on both surfaces, and with a double-serrate margin. Hazel is mainly distributed on the coasts of the Black Sea region of Turkey, Southern Europe (Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, and Greece), and in some areas of the USA (Oregon and Washington). It can also be cultivated in other countries, such as New Zealand, China, Azerbaijan, Chile, Iran, and Georgia, among others. Green, ready-to-harvest hazelnut fruit are shown in Figure 73.1.
Several hazelnut varieties exist worldwide. The most common European varieties may be classified according their main use (Table 73.1). In Turkey, the main world producer, the most frequent are Aci, Cavcava, Cakildak, Fosa, incekara, Kalinkara, Kan, Kara, Karafindik, Kargalak, Kus, Mincane, Palaz, Sivri, Tombul, Uzunmusa, Yassibadem, Yuvarlak Badem, Yassi Badem, and Imperial deTrebizonde (Ackurt etal., 1999; Ozdemir etal., 2001; Ozdemir & Akinci, 2004; Koksal et al., 2006). Daviana, Fertile de Coutard, and M. Bollwiller are hazelnut cultivars widely distributed.
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