Nearly every ancient civilization used almonds and yet it took a very long time for botanists to settle on the name. The warm and sunny climate of the Mediterranean Sea is superbly suited for almond trees, and so they were widely cultivated and very popular as a general medicine. Royalty consumed a lot of meat and made use of almonds to give a boost to their digestion, while the Romans used to throw them at weddings as the symbol of prosperity, health and fertility.
The Queen of Roses
While the first almond trees were cultivated in Asia, they are now widely planted throughout California, Pakistan, Iran and the Mediterranean region. They
belong to the Rosaceae Family and are also called “the Queen of the Rose Family”. Speaking strictly botanically an almond is not a nut but a stone fruit, just like its closely-related fruit varieties: Peaches and apricots.
An almond tree can reach up to three to six meters in height and its tender petals and blush coloured blossoms are a signature spring motive. Apricose-like fruits ripen until the late Summer and are harvested in August. There are two different almond varieties, a sweet and a bitter type. Whereas sweet almonds are a very popular snack (both raw and roasted) and a very popular cooking ingredient for nougats, liquors, as marzipan, crunch or brittle, bitter almonds are very high in hydrocyanic acid. But both are a great source of important nutrients and vitamins. Almonds are, for instance, rich in magnesium and vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant with a remarkable anticancer effect.
The Almond Does it
During the course of processing, almonds are brewed until the bitter skins fall off and then sorted based on the number of almond kernels per ounce. After they are dried the kernels can be processed, for instance to produce marzipan. Almonds taste delicious as a raw snack, roasted, salted, coated and sweet, dusted with cinnamon, powered sugar or covered with chocolate. They are commonly sold at Christmas Markets or any other holiday fairs. However, there are quite a few other ways to use almonds. They are crushed with water to produce dairy free vegan almond milk or extracted into almond oil and used in the beauty industry, to nourish the skin and make it smooth and shimmery. Almond meal, for instance, is also a very important ingredient in gluten free diets and bitter almonds are even used to help cure diphtheria and asthma.
KERNenergie Nut Master’s Favourites
The delicate KERNenergie almonds arrive to us in Germany from Spain. The Spanish have a very special relationship with food products. As a counter to the mass production found in the USA, you can enjoy KERNenergie almonds that are grown using traditional methods. Industrial-Production Techniques, such as those found in the USA, cause the almond to ripen only after artificial fertilization. KERNenergie almonds from Spain are only naturally fertilized. Another extremely important factor in Spain are regular quality controls. Farmers we work with have been growing almonds for several generations with a lot of passion and dedication to this natural growing process. And this shows in the taste of our almonds: Best sized at 18/22 they burst with natural flavour and have a distinctive almond fragrance. Use our Individualization Requests form to order gourmet almonds in many different varieties – whether unsalted or salted, roasted or not roasted, spicy or sweet. For a savoury treat try our nut mix “Safari” with Spanish almonds, cashews, peanuts (both with and without skins) and a special African spice blend guaranteed to make your mouth water.