A few months ago, my friend Paige and I were on our way to Old Chaser Farm on Vashon Island when Paige directed us to make a pit stop at The Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie. “We have to get the nuts,” she proclaimed.
They didn’t happen to have the nuts that morning so I went back on a recon mission to claim what could not be ours that day. My friend was referring to the roasterie’s hazelnuts, which have sort of become a local celebrity. Inanimate objects can achieve star status.
The coffee shop/general store started selling the hazelnuts last winter and they have since become the #1 seller in the store. Nut nerds like me call before heading to the island and ask Peter Larson, the nut roaster, to set aside a one or two pound bag. Larsen, the head roaster at this 100+ year old spot for 40 years, is retired and now comes in on a part-time basis to work his magic on the filberts.
These hazelnuts are so bomb diggity (yep, I sure did just bust out that phrase) I would pick a trip to eat nuts at Vashon over an opportunity to visit the newly discovered Diamond Planet.
What makes these nutsos so good? They hail from filbert kingdom (Oregon) and are roasted the good ol’ fashioned way in a coffee micro-roaster. One of the key taste and smell differentiators stems form the fact they are roasted in the same contraption where the shop roasts their sample coffee beans. When you open the bag, you get a whiff of coffee. That smell transfers to your palate.