The Almond - Processing and Use
Freshly Picked Almonds
From Tree To Table
Sweet almonds are the general eating almonds. You can pick them by hand, but if your tree stands on a steep hill it is a little more appropriate to use a fine-meshed net and shake the almonds from the tree and into the net.
The fruit is gray-green, flattened, and velvety. It is fairly easy to see when almonds must be harvested. The outer shell is like leather, but opens when the fruit is ripe.
If you can't get the outer shell off without using violence, I suggest you dump it. It might have dried out or it might have been exposed to mold or insect attack. Bottom line: You don't want to eat it!
When you have picked your almonds you are looking at several hours enjoyment of processing the almonds for cooking or storage. It's a good time spend with your family or partner on the terrace, and a good opportunity to talk.
How to prepare the almonds for cooking:
1. When you remove the outer shell (which you can do easily with your fingers) you will find another hard, light brown shell that seems unbreakable. (You see almonds got layers...just like Shrek!)
2. No need to despair: There is a cure for everything. All you need is a hammer and some practice! (Yes you might hit your fingers, but I assure you that you will get the hang of it quite quickly to avoid the pain). Save the almond shells. You can use them to make almond smoked meat.
3. Now all there is left is to skin the almonds if they are to be used in the foreseeable future .... otherwise not. The shelf life of almonds are best with the light brown skin on. Properly stored (cool and dry) they will keep for 10 to12 months.
Almonds in Cooking
How to make Marzipan
Recipes With Almond
- How To Make Marzipan
Learn step-by-step how to make raw marzipan from almonds.