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Autumn marks the arrival of cobnuts. Cobnuts are to hazelnuts what Cox's Pippins are to apples - a cultivated variety. Young cobnuts have green shells and husks and taste almost milky, with a fresh acidity. These are the ones I like best, picked before they turn brown, when the nut dries and tastes more like the familiar hazelnut.


Crack open a bunch and toast them in a dry pan until they brown and smell inviting. Then drop in a small knob of butter to finish them with a sizzle. Tip the hot nuts into a bowl and sprinkle generously with sea salt. Eat them straight away while they are toasty hot. If you like, add some lemon juice and cayenne pepper to spice them up.


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