Almond is the fruit of the almond tree (Prunus dulcis). It has a tan film that surrounds it, besides an inedible outer shell. It ‘taste sweat. The edible part of this fruit represents 40%.
The Castilian term comes from mandorla which is the arabization of the word.
There are an infinite number of varieties / cultivars of almonds. They are divided into two main groups: “soft shell” and “hard shell”.
The most common in Spain are:
The Marcona is the best known variety. A round and plump, sweet and slightly bitter almond percentage. It is one of the most used, the most expensive and the most demanded by the baking industry and turronera.4 Devoid of their shells, it is roasted until it acquires the desired for the production of hard or soft nougat tone. Is the basis for Appellations of Origin Jijona and Alicante, as well as the Quality Designation Toledo marzipan and nougat Aragonese addition to traditional Santiago tart.
The mollar almond, which has a soft shell easy to break, and having a certain percentage of double almonds.
The bitter almond (Prunus dulcis var. Amara), which is potentially more toxic than other varieties to contain higher amounts of amygdalin, a cyanogenic glycoside which is also found in the seeds of all species of the genus Prunus.
Cuisine and pastries
In Spanish pastry, the almond is widely used as an ingredient in the production of traditional desserts, like nougat, marzipan and cakes, ice cream and candy, or as an appetizer.
Almond is also consumed as almond milk or almond horchata.
This fruit oil is used as an emollient, and bitter almond essence, in perfumery, for its aroma.
For fans of veganism, almond milk is a great option in protein intake, in addition to being lightweight and have a pleasant taste. Almond milk is ideal for the growth stages and adolescence through its contribution of potassium and calcium. Dr. Gene Spiller, the Health Studies & Research Center (Los Altos, California) demonstrated that consumption of almond milk reduces blood cholesterol (lipoproteins); obtaining a higher result compared with the consumption of olive oil.
The world’s largest production countries are the United States, Australia, Syria, Iran, Spain and Morocco.
Production in Spain is concentrated in the Mediterranean coastal communities: Catalonia, Valencia, Balearic Islands (Mallorca), Murcia and Andalusia.
History and evolution:
The almond tree is native to central and eastern Asia, however, the almond is bitter and poisonous in its wild form. There is debate about the domestication of the almond tree. Danièle Martinoli and Stefanie Jacomet claim that the remains of toxic bitter almonds found in Anatolia (A. orientalis and A. graeca) was a small amount and surely saved for its high oil content. There is no evidence of domestication and evolution between spontaneous forms of almonds and a selected form.
Almond domestication is the selection of sweet almond, rare mutation and difficult to maintain. According to the work of the taxon A. G. fenzliana Ladizinsky (Fritsch) Lipsky is the most likely ancestor of sweet almond, which is native to Western Armenia and Azerbaijan, which could have been an earlier domestication to 1200 BC. McCreery has found mixed with wheat, barley and raisins in Numeria, Jordan peels. This results in an inconsistency between the texts, some claim that eating raw almonds could date from 6000 BC. Sweet almond seems to have been distributed quite late in the Mediterranean during the first millennium BC. The ancient Egyptians used almond oil as a cosmetic, and put almonds in the pan of the pharaohs. According to Theophrastus, Greece, was cultivated on a large scale. Almond consumed directly or in the form of milk. The word almond dates back to Greek amugdale. The Romans called “Greek nut”.
Often the cook in the Middle Ages, in the form of milk, to prepare soups and desserts sweetened, like the famous blancmange.
The Bible says that almonds are symbols of hope; and in Roman times, they threw almonds married to ensure their happiness, luck, health and a beautiful offspring.
100 g of common almond provide an energy value of 2409 kJ or 575 kcal plus vitamin B1 or thiamine (0.211 mg), B2 or riboflavin (1.014 mg), B3 or niacin (3.385 mg), B5 or pantothenic acid (0.469 mg), B6 (0.143 mg), B9 or folate (50 mg) and a significant amount of vitamin E (26.22 mg). It is also valuable contribution that provides essential minerals such as zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. It is important to note that the almond contains more calcium to our body that cow’s milk. It is therefore a good substitute for vegetarians and vegans.
Thanks to regular or frequent consumption of almonds can:
reduce the risk of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, why they promote brain activity and provide nutrients to the nervous system
reduce the risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases. Almonds strengthen and protect the artery walls against any damage that may occur in them.
protect and strengthen the hair, nails, bones and teeth thanks to vitamin E, phosphorus and calcium containing.
Almonds are recognized as one of the most nutritious nuts.
Allergens: As a dried fruit, some people are allergic to almonds.
Storage conditions: Store in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.
Before before: 1 year after purchase
Supplier: Oleander www.oleander.com