For the love of Jamaican Almonds

There are so many reasons to love Almonds…especially Jamaican Almonds!

The almonds have ruled the world since ancient times and are believed to have its roots in China. They were domesticated during 3000-200 BC and travelled across the world to Greece, Middle East and southern Europe. The Spaniards introduced these nuts to California during mid of 17th century and the latter gradually evolved into one of the largest producer of almonds in recent times.

Almonds have secured a venerable position in cultures of different countries. It made its place in the tomb of Tutankhamun, a celebrated Egyptian pharaoh as well as in the Bible. Almonds symbolise promise and vigilance to the Christians while in China they represent feminine beauty.

 Every guest in an Italian wedding is gifted with sugar-coated almonds as a sign of salubrity (favourable to the preservation of good health), romance and good fortune. Almonds make a delectable nibble and taste equally riveting whether savoured raw or toasted. Almonds and its derivatives make an integral part of your kitchen. If you are looking for gluten-free flour for your breads and desserts, almond flour is the one for you. Apart from that, butter, oil and milk, derived from almonds are also used in cooking throughout the world. 

Apart from making your dish taste better, almonds also enrich your body with its treasure house of nutrients. They are filled with carbohydrates, dietary fibres, vitamins and essential minerals like magnesium and potassium. The best part of almonds is that it contains mono-saturated fat which facilitates in toning down ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in the body.

Almond Cluster 2

Simply put Almonds do the body good! So what's to love about Jamaican Almonds? The Jamaican Almond trees grow all over Jamaica, especially along the seaside. Starting in the spring the almonds fall until December. Once they’ve fallen the almonds can last in their sturdy shell for up to a year or more. The Almonds, grown under the Caribbean sun, produce nuts that are filled with a milky oil. The oil alone will help fade dark circles under the eye area and is known to have anti aging effects. Don't get me started on what it does for the hair and did I mention they help lower cholesterol!

So what's cracking with almonds in Jamaica? Well….Nigel knows. He has been loving Jamaican almonds since he was a child and his mother made him almond drops. One day about a year ago while sitting under an almond tree Nigel and his cousin were trying to figure out something unique to offer their customers already having baked goods, and it was at the moment when he remembered the treats his mom used to make!

That was a year ago and since that time Nigel has been perfecting his almond treats and sharing them with the people of Negril and the many visitors from around the world. He collects the Almonds from trees growing along the sea. They are cracked open (which isn't easy to do) to get to the juicy heart of the seed which is the actual nut. He then washes them and allows them to dry in the Caribbean sun for 10-14 days giving them even more nutrients and vitamins. He then produces his almond products which include: Almond drops, sun-cooked raw, honey roasted and the brand new almond oil.

If you're ever in Negril look up Nigel's Jamaican Almond World and he will surely share the almond love with you. In the meantime enjoy almonds no matter where in the world you are. Almond products do wonders for the body and they taste delicious.  

 (Contributed by Jessica Haughton)

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