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Hazelnut vs. Walnut: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 6, 2023
Hazelnuts are small, round nuts from the Corylus tree, sweet-flavored; walnuts are larger, brain-shaped nuts from the Juglans genus, with a more robust taste.

Key Differences

Hazelnuts are the nut of the hazel tree, often round or oval, known for a sweet taste. Walnuts are larger, wrinkled, and resemble the brain, with a stronger, earthier flavor.
While hazelnuts are commonly used in chocolates and spreads, walnuts are frequent in baking and as a healthful snack due to their omega-3 content.
The hazelnut shell is smooth and relatively easy to crack, as opposed to the walnut's hard, rugged shell that requires a nutcracker.
Hazelnut trees are smaller and can be found in temperate climates, whereas walnut trees are larger and have a broader range.
In terms of cultivation, hazelnuts are primarily grown in Turkey, Italy, and the United States; walnuts are predominantly produced in China, the U.S., and Iran.

Comparison Chart


Round or oval
Large and wrinkled, brain-like shape


Sweet and mild
Robust and earthy


Smooth, relatively easy to crack
Hard and rugged, requires a nutcracker

Culinary Uses

Chocolates, spreads, pastries
Baked goods, salads, oil

Nutritional Value

High in vitamin E and healthy fats
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants

Hazelnut and Walnut Definitions


The nut of the hazel tree.
She sprinkled hazelnuts over the dessert for extra crunch.


A wrinkled, globe-shaped nut with a hard shell.
He cracked open a walnut to garnish the salad.


A sweet-flavored round nut used in confections.
Hazelnut is the key ingredient in that famous spread.


The seed of a drupe fruit.
The walnut is technically the seed of a drupe, not a true botanical nut.


A source of hazelnut oil.
Hazelnut oil is praised for its skincare benefits.


A source of wood and edible nut.
The walnut wood is as prized as the nut itself.


A nut often used in flavored coffees.
Would you like hazelnut syrup in your latte?


A nut rich in antioxidants.
Adding walnuts to your diet can increase your antioxidant intake.


Edible kernel of the hazel.
I love roasted hazelnuts in my trail mix.


The nut of any tree of the genus Juglans.
Walnuts add a rich flavor to brownie recipes.


The edible nut of a hazel, having a hard smooth brown shell. Also called filbert.


Any of several deciduous trees of the genus Juglans, having pinnately compound leaves and fruits with a rounded sticky husk that encloses an edible seed with a hard shell.


The nut or corrugated seed of any of these trees.


Are hazelnuts and walnuts related?

They are not closely related; they belong to different plant genera.

Can hazelnuts be eaten raw?

Yes, hazelnuts can be eaten raw or roasted.

Are walnuts healthy?

Walnuts are healthy, offering omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.

Can people with nut allergies eat hazelnuts or walnuts?

No, people with nut allergies should avoid both.

What is a hazelnut?

A hazelnut is the edible nut from a hazel tree, sweet and round.

What is a walnut?

A walnut is the edible, wrinkled seed of a Juglans tree, known for its robust flavor.

How should hazelnuts be stored?

Store them in a cool, dry place, or refrigerate for longer shelf life.

Do hazelnuts need to be shelled before eating?

Yes, they should be shelled to eat the kernel inside.

Are walnuts a good source of protein?

Walnuts contain protein, but they're not as high in protein as some other nuts.

Is walnut oil good for cooking?

Yes, walnut oil is used for its nutty flavor in cooking.

What are the benefits of eating walnuts?

Benefits include improved heart health and brain function.

Do hazelnuts have a distinct flavor?

Hazelnuts have a sweet, mild flavor that is popular in desserts.

How can I use walnuts in cooking?

Use them in baking, salads, or as a snack.

What dishes are hazelnuts commonly used in?

They're often used in pastries, chocolates, and spreads.

Can I grow a walnut tree in my backyard?

Yes, if the climate is suitable and you have space, as they can grow large.

What's the best way to crack a hazelnut?

Use a nutcracker or a simple rolling pin can work due to its softer shell.

Do walnuts come in different varieties?

Yes, there are several varieties of walnuts, including English and black walnuts.

Are hazelnuts used in coffee flavoring?

Yes, hazelnut flavor is popular in coffee.

Can walnuts go bad?

Yes, they can become rancid; store them properly to extend their shelf life.

Are hazelnuts good for your skin?

Yes, hazelnut oil is known for skin health benefits.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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