The American name of this plant, Filbert, comes from the day that harvesting the nuts began, August 22nd, the day of observing the Saint’s day of celebration.
Following Napoleon’s foreign policy on trade with Uk that prohibited all commerce, trade and communication with the British Isles, chocolate confectioner’s in Turin couldn’t get access to cacao but few enterprising souls figured they could stretch their wares by grinding local hazelnuts into a paste and mixing it with their remaining cacao, thus creating the new mix named Gianduia as the Piedmont character from commedia dell’arte.
The hazel wood is used for making a very fine ember used for the drawing charcoals and gunpowder manufacture.
In Ancient Rome they used to offer an hazel plant as a gift to bring happiness.
In the French tradition the hazel symbolizes fertility: the” hazelnuts throwing” was traditional to bring young people together and wish girls prosperity.
It is said that the rod carried by Asclepius with a snake wrapped around it was an an hazel branch. Asclepius is the Greek god of medicine and his staff is the symbol of medicine.
In the Grimm brothers’ Cinderella story, the hazel tree protects her from adversities.
In the United States, “Witch Hazel” is the most common name for witches.
In the 1800s the hazel crushed fruits were used for creating medicines against bronchitis and were also a common ingredient in the ladies’ beauty creams.