Almonds are on Fire, says Mark Jansen...

Blue Diamond Almonds CEO Mark Jansen told FoodNavigator-USA that “almonds are on fire,” with double-digit sales growth in all categories. California’s almond production has doubled over the last ten years, and quadruped over the last thirty. The 2013 harvest exceeded estimates, weighing in at a staggering 2 billion pounds. Did we see this coming? Of course we did. But even we were surprised to learn that almonds are the #1 nut in all new snack products launched in North America. And while we do love ready-to-eat almond products, something off the shelf in the market is no match for cooking with almonds from scratch. That’s why we wrote our book, which is full of recipes for food you won’t find in any store....

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Photos: Processing

In 2011, Barbara and Betsy followed the almonds from the field to the processing plant. All photographs by Barbara...

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Photos: Harvesting

In 2011, Barbara and Betsy got a first hand look at the almond harvesting process.         When the pods split, the almonds are ready to be harvested.        ...

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Photos: Before the Harvest

While researching the book, Betsy and Barbara visited the almond fields to get a first-hand look at the harvesting process in the summer of 2011. All Photographs by Barbara...

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Lore: al-Mu’tamid’s Almond Trees...

The eleventh-century poet-king of Andalusia, al-Mu’tamid, was famous for the romantic poetry he wrote to his wife, who was famous for her extravagant desires. One day in winter, according to legend, from inside the palace she saw snow falling—unusual in what is now southern Spain—and began to weep. Why was he so cruel, she asked, as to deny her the joy of seeing this wondrous sight more often? To please his queen, al-Mu’tamid had almond trees planted so the petals floating to the ground would remind her of...

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History: King Tutank-almond

  Did you know that almonds were found in King Tut’s tomb? Yes, along with the gold, lapis lazuli works of art and the young ruler’s personal belongings, almonds, wheat, coriander, fenugreek, dates, and grapes, were also packed into baskets and boxes for his use in the afterlife. (The boy king was buried in the spring of 1322 BCE.) More than sixty years after the antiquities hunter Howard Carter first peered into the famous tomb, in 1922, and saw the glint of gold, researchers at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London brought to light their investigation of food samples that had been removed to England for study. You can find more on the fascinating history of almonds in our book....

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About Our Book

Few foods are well-loved, nutritious and versatile as the almond. In Almonds: Recipes, History, Culture, the almond is celebrated in a richly illustrated new cookbook comprised of over 60 photo-illustrated recipes inspired by cuisines from around the world. This lavishly produced volume is not only timely, but sure to appeal to health-conscious cooks and food lovers of world cuisines alike. Included in this 165-page book devoted to almonds: History Ancient origins as a nutritional powerhouse Earliest cultivated goods, transported and traded from continent to continent for thousands of years Used in food, cosmetics, medicines Artistic inspiration from Egyptian tomb drawings to Vincent Van Gogh Symbol of fertility and divine approval Nutrition Rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber Key component to a healthy diet Handful a day shown to reduce risk of heart attacks, lower cholesterol, Protect against...

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Almonds as Art

Almonds are beautiful in every state – blossoms on the tree, at the harvest or on the plate. Even on a garden chair. Photograph by Robert...

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