Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now
The almond, Prunus dulcis, is botanically a stone fruit related to the cherry, the plum, and the peach, but the seed not the flesh is the edible portion.
It is the largest volume tree nut commercially grown and the principal growing areas for sweet almonds are California, Australia and the Valencia region of Spain, whereas bitter almonds are predominantly from Morocco.
California (Sacramento or Central Valley) normally harvests about 80% of the world’s crop. The orchards bloom around March- April and the crop is harvested in September-October. 750,000 acres of land are planted with some 51 varieties of almonds. The predominant variety is Non-Pareil, but other varieties needed for successful pollinating, such as Carmel and Butte-Padre, are becoming increasingly popular, especially for processing.
Whole almonds are graded by factors such as the level of chips & scratches, doubles or foreign material and the USDA grades Extra No 1, Supreme and Select Sheller Run (SSR) are the grades most commonly imported in the UK.
Almonds are sized by the number of kernels per ounce, therefore a 23/25 count almond would typically be used for retail packing but a smaller 34/36 count almond might be used for processing.
Almonds can be purchased as natural/brown-skin/skin on or with the skins removed by blanching. A large proportion of blanched almonds and their derivative products are processed in Spain and other parts of Europe, mainly from imported US kernels.
Natural or Blanched Almond Pastes or ButtersNut Butters