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Almonds are the seeds of a tree related to the peach and plum. They have a tough, oval, pale–brown shell, which encloses the nut. Almonds are classified as either bitter or sweet. Bitter almonds contain hydrocyanic acid and are poisonous if eaten in large quantities, but as their toxins are destroyed by heat they are used in small quantities to flavour cakes, confectionery and liqueurs such as amaretto. Sweet almonds (or almonds) are usually eaten dried but, in Europe, may be sold fresh—the shell is green and the nut is damp and tender. Store unshelled almonds in a cool place for up to 1 year, and shelled almonds in the fridge for up to 6 months. Almond extract is also available—buy the best quality.

Special Note

Almonds go with — apricot, chicken, chocolate, peach, toffee