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Chocolate Makers Use 40% Of World’s Total Almonds

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It’s generally believed and agreed by historians (and food historians in particular) that almonds were one of the earliest cultivated foods by mankind. Almond Day celebrates this and all things almond, and rightly so, given their high vitamin E content, their effectiveness at reducing cholesterol levels and helping with weight loss!

  • Almonds are mentioned several times in the New and Old Testaments. They are revered as symbols of divine approval.
  • Almonds are actually fruits, related to cherries and plums.
  • Almonds are members of the rose family and are sometimes called “the queen of the rose family.”
  • Raw Almonds contain prussic acids, the eating of more than a handful can be lethal.
  • Greek mythology tells of the beautiful princess Phyllis, who was left waiting at the altar on her wedding day by her intended, Demophon. Phyllis waited for years for him to return, but finally died of a broken heart. In sympathy, the gods transformed Phyllis into an almond tree, which became a symbol of hope.
  • In the mid-1700s, the Franciscan Padres planted almond trees to grace their missions along El Camino Real (The Royal Road) that stretches along the California coast from San Diego to Sonoma.
  • Cinnamon-glazed almonds were President Clinton’s snack of choice at both the 1993 and the 1997 inaugurations.
  • Native to the Mediterranean countries, the almond was introduced to America from Spain in 1769.
  • Explorers ate almonds while traveling the Silk Road between Asia and the Mediterranean. Not long after that, almond trees flourished in the Mediterranean, especially in Spain and Italy.
  • The almond tree was brought to California from Spain in the mid 1700s by the Franciscan Padres.
  • Almond grows best in Mediterranean climates with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters.
  • The world’s largest almond factory is located in Sacramento, California and processes over 2 million pounds of almonds per day.  California produces over 80% of the world’s supply of almonds and that chocolate manufacturers currently use about 40% of the world’s almonds and about 20% of the world’s peanuts.
  • The bitter taste in Almonds is derived from the 4-9 mg of hydrogen cyanide in each.
  • The almond is botanically a stone fruit related to the cherry, the plum, the peach and the apricot.
  • In 100 grams (3.5 ounces) raw almond supply 578 calories and are 73% fat, 14% carbs and 13% protein.
  • The health benefits of almonds are extensive, and they are frequently used as a healthy solution for relief from constipation, respiratory disorders, coughs, heart disorders, anemia, impotency, and diabetes. They also help in maintenance of healthy hair, skin care and dental care.
  • Chocolate makers use 40% of world’s total almonds in making delicious chocolates. Consumers worldwide believe almonds make chocolate more satisfying, uplifting and relaxing.
  • The oil of sweet almonds has been traditionally used by massage therapists to lubricate the skin during a massage session, being considered by many to be an effective emollient.
  • It takes 1000 pounds of almonds to make 1 pint of almond oil.
  • The pollination of California’s almonds is the largest annual managed pollination event in the world, with close to 1 million hives, which is nearly half of all beehives in the United States, being trucked in February to the almond groves. A lot of the pollination is managed by pollination brokers, who contract with migratory beekeepers from at least 49 states for the event.
  • In the Hebrew Bible, the almond was a symbol of watchfulness and promise due to its early flowering.
  • Similarly, Christian symbolism often uses almond branches as a symbol of the Virgin Birth of Jesus; paintings and icons often include almond-shaped haloes encircling the Christ Child and as a symbol of Mary.
  • In the Bible the almond is mentioned ten times.
  • The Romans showered newlyweds with almonds as a fertility charm.
  • The Chinese consider the almond a symbol of enduring sadness and female beauty.
  • In India, almonds are considered as “brain food” for kids.
  • 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.
  • According to superstition: If you eat almonds before taking a drink, you will reduce your chances of getting drunk and avoid having a hangover.

Sources:

Days of the Year

FoodImentary

Mobile-Cuisine

Just Fun Facts

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Best Health Mag

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