The Almond (Prunus dulcis, syn. Prunus amygdalus Batsch, Amygdalus communis L., Amygdalus dulcis Mill.), is a species of tree native to the Middle East and South Asia. Almond is also the name of the edible and widely cultivated seed of this tree.
It was spread by humans into northern Africa and southern Europe and more recently to California, United States. California produces now 80% of the worldۥs almonds.
The fruit of the almond is not a true nut, but a drupe, consisting of an outer hull and a hard shell with the seed (“nut”) inside. Shelling almonds refers to removing the shell to reveal the seed. Almonds are commonly sold shelled, i.e. after the shells are removed, or unshelled, i.e. with the shells still attached. Blanched almonds are shelled almonds that have been treated with hot water to soften the seed coat, which is then removed to reveal the white embryo.
There are two forms of the plant, one producing sweet almonds, and the other producing bitter almonds.
While the almond is often eaten on its own, raw or toasted, it is also a component of various dishes. Almonds are available in many forms, such as whole, sliced (flaked, slivered), and as almond butter, almond milk and almond oil. These variations can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes.
Sweet almonds are used in marzipan, nougat, many pastries (including jesuites), cookies (including French macaroons), and cakes (including financiers), noghl and other sweets and desserts.
Medicinal uses :
Almond oil is extracted by cold process, and is considered a nutritive aphrodisiac both for massage and internal consumption. Recent studies have shown that the constituents of almond have anti-inflammatory, immunity boosting, and anti-hepatotoxicity effects.
Sweet or bitter.
Other names :