Fats and Oils - Almond Oil
The fat in almond oil is predominantly monounsaturated. It is an excellent source of Vitamin E.
The clear oil extracted from the dried kernels of the almond tree, Prunus amygdalus.
Origin and History
Originally native to the eastern Mediterranean, almond trees now flourish in most warm, sunny countries. There are two basic varieties of almond: the sweet almond, from a pink-flowering tree, and the strongly flavored bitter almond, from a white-flowering tree. Almond oil can be pressed from either variety. It is usually marketed as 'oil of bitter almonds' or 'sweet almond oil' and was one of the earliest cosmetic aids, which the ancient Egyptians valued highly as a treatment for the prevention of wrinkles. Almond oil is still a much used ingredient for face creams.
Since the almond is such an expensive raw material to produce, almond oil has no great commercial significance as an edible oil.
Buying and Storage
Almond oil is available from some specialty food outlets. It should be bland in flavor and either colorless or pale yellow, free from rancidity and other undesirable flavors.
Store in a sealed container at room temperature and out of direct light. The oil should be refrigerated after opening and discarded as soon as there is a hint of rancidity.
Preparation and Use
Use as a salad oil or for general cooking, baking and confectionery making.