We are having beautiful weather and all of a sudden the almond trees started to bloom!
Spain is actually the second largest almond producer in the world (13% of annual production) after the United States (over 40 percent annually) and relies on Andalucia and Valencia as its main producing regions.
The white blossoms produce sweet almonds while the pink ones produce the bitter variety. The latter contain cyanide which must be removed before consuming the extract of these nuts.
Almond trees have been traditional in Spain since Arab domination more than 500 years ago. Although almond orchards are widely dispersed throughout Spain, commercial production is concentrated in the Mediterranean regions.
Approximately three-fourths of Spain’s total almond acreage is located in three regions — the Ebro region to the north, the Levante region in the center and eastern Andalucia to the south.
Since growing almonds is such a major part of the agricultural economy, almonds feature strongly in Andalucian cuisine, often in dishes of Arab origin. The almond is a principle ingredient in many cakes and sweets, like turon or almond nougat, and mantecados, light sweet cakes. It´s possibly enjoyed above all in Ajo Blanco, a delicious chilled soup based on almonds and garlic.
A nice weekend to you!