The almond in gastronomy

Desserts

Fruit of the almond tree, although by extension it is also called that way to any seed contained in the bone of a fruit, such as that of the apricot.

It has an ovoid shape of green and is velvety to the touch. It is a kind of nut whose thick shell contains one or two seeds, also called almonds.

The almond is native to Asia and is known to have been cultivated for more than 7000 years. It was known by the Romans under the name of "greek nut". They used it to make soups or homemade sweets such as Manjar Blanco.

There are two varieties of almonds, both rich in albumin, sugar and oil; the sweet almond, edible, and the bitter almond, with a very pronounced stone flavor and toxic in large quantities, although dry, are used in pastry, although in small quantities, since they provide a strong aroma.

The almond tree is cultivated throughout the Mediterranean coast. In Spain it is mainly concentrated on the coast. Being able to highlight the Valencian Community (Valle del Vinalopó, Monóvar, Novelda, Elche, Jijona), in Murcia (Segura basin), in Andalusia (Almanzora, Adra, Baza and Guadix) and in Catalonia (Vallés, Penedés, Campo de Tarragona, Les Garriguez, Urgel). Although the main producer of almonds is the island of Mallorca with 11%, in its plantations of Inca, La Puebla, Muro and Manacor. Spain leads the way in the export of almonds with 40% of the total.

The first fresh almonds appear in May. They are opened with a nutcracker or a mallet and can be eaten raw as desserts.

But they are most consumed after drying; then 640 calories in 100 grams are richer in calories, in vitamins, fat and sugars.

Dried bitter almonds are used in pastry but in very small quantities as they provide great aroma.

Dried sweet almonds, whether whole, crushed or already transformed into paste or cream, enter into the preparation of many sweets, cakes, cakes, chocolates, etc. Being the main base of marzipan and nougat

In cooking, almonds accompany some fish such as trout, meats such as chicken or pigeon, and various preparations such as couscous, fillings or compound butters.

Without forgetting that it is one of the most consumed appetizers in the world, toasted and salty.

God give almonds to those who do not have teeth Women and almonds, the ones that don't sound What costs nothing, tastes like almonds

Photo | Jeltovski
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