Characteristics of almonds

Types and varieties of almonds

What are almonds?

Almonds are the fruit of the almond tree. They are edible nuts. They have an oval shape, finished in a slight point. They are white on the inside, that is, the fleshy part. They are covered by a very fine brown skin and protected by a hard and resistant shell. Its flavor is soft and sweet, with a buttery texture.

almendras variadas
Photo of assorted almonds with shell

In the market we can find them both with the shell and without it, throughout the year, although they are cooler in summer. They are related to apricots, peaches, and cherries. All of them come from trees of the same family, Rosaceae.

The Amara variety has a bitter taste and is highly toxic (it contains prussic acid). It is not edible, although oil is made from it. It is often used in some foods to enhance the aroma and in typical Italian alcoholic beverages such as Amaretto.

Types of almonds:

There are two types of almonds:

Sweet almonds, which are the type of almonds that are used in food. They are obtained from the almond variety Prunus amygdalus L. Var. Dulcis

Bitter almonds, which is an inedible variety of almond, although it is used in small amounts in the manufacture of food and beverages. This type of almonds is obtained from the almond variety Prunus amygdalus L. Var. Amara.

Almond varieties

Within the edible variety, that is, the sweet almond, there are several different kinds of almonds:

Jordan almond

  • It is long and pointed.
  • It has the best flavor and is the most expensive.

Marcona 

  • It is large in size, round and with a mild flavor, with a slightly bitter touch.
  • It is used to make nougat, butters and fried almonds.
  • They need to be scalded to be able to peel easily. They are typical in Spain, of very high quality and with a designation of origin (Alicante).
  • It is one of the most used.

Mollar 

  • It differs from the rest of the varieties by the fragility of its shell.
  • It can be broken just by biting into it, like sunflower seeds.

Desmayo largueta 

  • They are long, smooth and pointed.
  • Typical of Tarragona and the Catalan coast (Spain).

Ferragnes

  • It is a typical hybrid in France.
  • It has a not very hard shell and does not produce double almonds.

Guara

  • Typical of Zaragoza (Spain).
  • It is self-fertile.
  • It has a very hard shell and produces many double almonds.

Among other varieties are: Garrigues, Atocha, Ramillete, Peraleja, Planeta, Red Faint, Nonpareil, Peerless, Fritz, Monterey, Pizzuta, Bonifacio, Cavaliera.

punto rojo More information on almonds

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Editorial
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

16 February, 2021

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