We know two types of almonds, bitter and sweet. The first are mainly used to produce essential oils, liqueurs and oils; whereas sweet almonds can be consumed as a snack.
Since the almond tree originated from biblical places, it was often mentioned in stories from the Bible, either literally or figuratively.
The famous Italian Amaretto Liqueur is made by combining almonds and apricot kernels.
Almonds are also a key ingredient in marzipan.
To attain a milder and improved flavour with better digestible properties, almonds are best consumed after soaking them in water.
Almond flour is a gluten-free substitute for flour, which gives cakes a more nutty flavour. The most popular sweet delicacy prepared using this flour are macarons, which are renowned for their elegant appearance.
Soaked and ground almonds can be used as a base for no-bake desserts and pastry fillings; whereas, chopped almonds are often added to different toppings as a crunchy surprise.
They also go well with savoury dishes, particularly salads, vegetable side dishes, soups and stews, fish and poultry.
They can be processed into a diary-free milk and also butter, similar to peanut butter.
Most almonds are produced in the USA (particularly California), followed by Spain, Australia and many other countries.
The fruit of the almond is a drupe belonging to the genus Prunus.
It is believed that almonds were one of the first domesticated tree species in the world.
Their origin can be traced to the Mediterranean part of the Middle East, and today they are also cultivated in other parts of the world that have a suitable climate.