About almonds Edit
Almonds are the fruit of the almond tree. An almond is an oval, tan-colored nut. It lacks the sweet fleshy outer covering of other members of Prunus (such as the plum and cherry), this being replaced by a leathery coat, called a hull, which contains the edible kernel, commonly called a nut, inside a hard shell. In botanical parlance, the reticulated hard stony shell is called an endocarp, and the fruit, or exocarp, is a drupe, having a downy outer coat.
Types of almond Edit
Almonds are available as either a bitter or as a sweet flavored type of nut. There are a variety of almonds available in both different types and forms. As an example, Marcona almonds are a Spanish variety that are more plump than other varieties and richer in flavor. Almonds can be purchased in the shell, shelled whole, sliced, slivered, chopped, or ground. They can be blanched (skins removed), roasted or used as a raw nut.
- Bitter almonds: The bitter nut must be cooked in order to remove a naturally occurring toxin, so they are not consumed raw, but instead are processed for almond oil or almond extract.
- Sweet almonds: It is the sweet almond that is the nut commonly available to be served as snacks or added to salads, entrees, side dishes, baked goods, and desserts.
Almond paste Edit
Used in a variety of confections, almond paste is made of blanched ground almonds, sugar and glycerin or other liquid. It is also often called "marzipan".