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product Almonds image
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OriginUSA, Chile, Australia
Harvesting timeAugust (northern hemisphere), April (southern hemisphere)
GrowthThe seeds of the almond tree
ProcessingRemoving the tough shell
Shelf lifeAt least a year after production
Fat percentageBetween 45 and 55%
The almond tree is closely related to the plum and peach trees. The almond is the stone of a fruit and therefore does not belong to nutty fruits. Almonds are harvested at the end of summer (in August). This is done by shaking the tree by means of a special machine and catching the almonds at the same time. They are gathered and transported to a factory. 

At the factory the almonds are stored in silos in their shells. This method of storage prolongs shelf life, due to the natural protection of the hard shell. Shortly before shipping, the almonds are cracked, cleaned and sorted by size. Almonds are distinguished by weight. This is expressed by number of pieces per ounce. (ca. 28 grams). The  range varies from 16/18 to 30/34 pieces per ounce,  23/25 and 27/30 being standard sizes.  
The same gradations apply to splits, because for splits too, whole almonds are counted per ounce. After sorting comes blanching: by cooking them for a short time the skin will come loose easily. Almonds are supplied in many shapes: sliced, slivers, halves, broken and almond paste. The processed products usually come from Spain. The Spanish buy almonds in California in order to process them in their own country. In this way they can compete by means of prices, but also by flexibility of supply.
• Blanched almonds
• Split almonds
• Flaked almonds
• Slivered almonds
• Ground almonds

See also

product Cashew nuts image
Cashew nuts
product Pecan nuts image
Pecan nuts
product Walnuts image
product Hazelnuts image