Hazelnut is one of the oldest known crops. Three centuries before the Christian era, hazelnuts were grown on the coast of the Black Sea. Today, the hazelnut is presently found throughout France, and is also common in Italy, Spain, Greece and Turkey, which is the world’s largest producer. The location for cultivating hazelnut trees is called the hazelnut grove. The tree is in full production after 8-12 years and for the duration of its life of approximately 60 years. The fruit, the hazelnut, is an achene (single-seed fruit), generally grouped into small clusters formed by two or three fruits.
Harvesting can be done between August and September, when the fruit takes on a brown color and becomes ripe. To produce 1L of hazelnut oil, 2 to 3 kg of hazelnuts is required.
From fruit primarily grown in France or Italy, Guénard offers you a wide variety of hazelnut oils. In fact, through various blends of virgin and refined oils, Guénard hazelnut oils have different flavor intensities that will satisfy any palate. To ensure the authenticity of its products, Guénard uses an artisanal production process. The hazelnut paste obtained by grinding the fruit is then lightly toasted to obtain oil that will enhance the subtle gourmet flavors and aromas of the hazelnut.
In its desire to offer unique products, Guénard also offers French hazelnut oil produced from quality hazelnuts, which comes among others from its collaboration with a French cooperative specialized in nuts. With 250 members, the cooperative processes nearly all of the French hazelnut production and represents 60% of the European market share for hazelnuts, with 7,000 to 10,000 tons sold annually. The producers are located in southwestern France, mainly in the Midi-Pyrénées and Aquitaine regions. Through a commitment agreement with each producer, the quality of the nuts is ensured by the grove.
The harvest respects the natural ripening of fruit. In September, nets are placed under the trees in order to allow time for the fruit to ripen and naturally fall to the ground. It then follows a long process to arrive at the final product: washing, careful sorting that removes damaged hazelnuts and pebbles, and then drying. A final sorting is performed to determine whether to target the unshelled hazelnut market or the shelled hazelnut market according to their size and possible defects. The rigorously selected hazelnuts are then used to produce virgin hazelnut oil made in France.
Guénard French Hazelnut Oil is performed is made according to artisanal processes. In order to maintain the authenticity and values of the product, we toast our hazelnuts in cast iron pans.