The History of Almonds
Almonds are mentioned as far back in history as the Bible. They were a prized ingredient in breads served to Egypt's pharos. Their exact ancestry in unknown, but almonds are thought to have originated in China and Central Asia.
Explorers ate almonds while traveling the "Silk Road" between Asia and the Mediterranean. Before long, almond trees flourished in the Mediterranean -- especially in Spain and Italy.
The almond tree was brought to California from Spain in the mid-1700's by the Franciscan Padres. The moist, cool weather of the coastal missions, however, did not provide optimum growing conditions. It wasn't until the following century that trees were successfully planted inland. By the 1870's, research and cross-breeding had developed several of today's prominent almond varieties. By the turn of the 20th century, the almond industry was firmly established in the Sacramento and San Joaquin areas of California's great Central Valley.
Throughout history, almonds have maintained religious, ethnic and social significance. The Bible's "Book of Numbers" tells the story of Aaron's rod that blossomed and bore almonds, giving the almond the symbolism of divine approval.
The Romans showered newlyweds with almonds as a fertility charm. Today, Americans give guests at weddings a bag of sugared almonds, representing children, happiness, romance, good health and fortune. In Sweden, cinnamon-flavored rice pudding with an almond hidden inside is a Christmas custom. Find it, and good fortune is yours for a year.
Historians generally agree that almonds and dates, both mentioned in the Old...Read More
Member of the California Almond Board
Waterford Nut Company
519 Timmie Lane Waterford, CA 95386
Fax :: 209-874-3494