“A Journey Through Time: History, Culture and Benefits of Almonds”

16F International Almond Day

Originally from Central Asia, almonds have left their mark since ancient times, they have been with us for more than 10,000 years. Mentioned in Greek mythology and the Bible symbolizing life. In Jewish tradition it symbolizes the hidden, the unknown behind its hard crust. For the Romans, almonds were an amulet of fertility, bathing newlyweds in them, a custom that resonates in today’s weddings with sugared almonds. The almonds’ journey continued along the Silk Road, feeding explorers and growing in regions such as Spain, Morocco, Greece and Israel.

They are an integral part of various cultures around the world. In Japan, chocolate covered almonds are an irresistible delight. In India, they are considered brain foods, while in the Mediterranean, they are symbols of healthy living. From Italian celebrations with candied almonds to German festivals where they are enjoyed in marzipan, almonds have become intertwined with culinary customs and holiday celebrations. In Spain they are the raw material for one of the Christmas sweets par excellence: nougat. Their versatility has made them an essential ingredient in French pastries and many other cuisines around the world.

There is a wide variety of almonds: from Marcona, the favorite of nougat artisans; the commune, of Spanish origin, very sweet and special for pastries; the largueta, special for sugar coating; or that of California used in various food products.

Currently, the state of California leads the world in almond production, supplying approximately 80% of the global supply. This small fruit has gone from being a historical relic to a global food force, offering not only a delicious flavor but also a host of nutritional benefits. Almonds are much more than a healthy snack.

Benefits of Consuming Almonds:

  • High Antioxidant Content: Almonds are rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that fights cell damage and premature aging.
  • Protein Source: With approximately 20 grams of protein per 100 grams, almonds are an excellent source of essential amino acids.
  • Helps in Weight Control: Its high fiber content provides a feeling of satiety, facilitating appetite control and intestinal transit.
  • Healthy Fats: More than 50% of the weight of almonds are monounsaturated fats, beneficial for cardiovascular health.
  • Blood Sugar Regulation: The magnesium present in almonds contributes to the regulation of blood sugar, being beneficial for people with diabetes.
  • Improved Heart Health: They help reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, contributing to cardiovascular health.
  • Rich in Nutrients: Almonds contain a wide range of nutrients, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, B vitamins and more.

Thus, almonds, with their fascinating history and nutritional benefits, continue to be a source of inspiration and a cultural treasure that connects us to the past while delighting us in the present. A journey through time where each almond tells a story!