National Almonds Day is celebrated in the USA on February 16. During this period the almond trees start to bloom in a delicate light pink color. No wonder they are called some of the most beautiful. The peculiarity of the unusual flowering of this tree is that the flowers appear directly on the bare leaves. Such an event is considered the end of the cold winter and the beginning of the long-awaited spring. But don’t worry if there are no tickets available for the particular date- tourists can watch this site for a whole month.
The almond blossom completely transforms the city. People are trying to enjoy every moment of this extraordinary time. They organize picnics with delicious food, and in the evening go for a walk in the midnight city, where street musicians and dancers perform.
By the way, did you know that the US state of California is the world leader in the cultivation of almonds? According to the statistics, in 2017 400,000 hectares and six different varieties of almonds with a yield of 1.02 billion kilograms were grown there. This is about 80% of the total world harvest!
It all started in 1840 when almonds began to be grown in warm states, such as Texas, New Mexico, and Georgia. But the climate did not suit the plant at all. Then in 1850, almonds were planted in California, where the seeds took root well and now bring the country 3.2 billion dollars in a year.
10 facts about almonds that are definitely worth your attention:
- To begin with, almonds are not nuts, and neither are peanuts. Its closest relatives, from a botanical point of view, are plums and peaches.
- There are 30 types of almonds.
- The widely cultivated common almond has two varieties- sweet and bitter. The bitter ones are poisonous when raw. 50 nuts can easily become a lethal dose. However, it is widely used in the manufacture of expensive soaps.
- Asia is considered the birthplace of almonds. Almond delicacies were very popular and in great demand in Ancient Egypt, but such dishes were served only to the nobility and pharaohs.
- The Romans believed almonds to be magic food for fertility.
- It was experimentally proved that almond aroma helps to awaken the appetite.
- According to modern research, regular consumption of almonds in food approximately halves the risk of a heart attack.
- Almond oil is very popular in cosmetics. It is used as a hand cream, as well as an anti-wrinkle agent.
- In England, a handful of five almonds are considered a symbol of prosperity, wealth, and abundance.
- In Switzerland, there is a tradition of putting one almond in a Christmas cake. It is believed that whoever gets it will certainly be rich next year.
We think the best way to celebrate this day is to make almond cookies for those you love and care about. It is only 30 minutes of your time and a good mood is guaranteed, as well as a full stomach.
For 20 pieces you will need:
- 200 grams of chopped almonds;
- 3 egg whites;
- 150 grams of sugar;
- 50 grams of flour;
- 50 grams of whole almonds.
Firstly, take three medium-sized chicken eggs and carefully separate the whites from the yolks. Then, beat whites until “foamy”. Secondly, add sugar little by little. If you are a fan of very sweet cookies, the amount of sugar in the recipe can be increased. Finally, put almonds already mixed with flour, and stir gently until smooth. The dough should be neither too tough nor too runny. Now you can form your small cookies from it. Next, put them on a baking sheet covered with confectionery paper.
We recommend placing your future cookies loosely, leaving rather large gaps between them. Almond cookies are baked for 15-20 minutes in a preheated oven at a temperature of 170-180 ° C until a beautiful golden color. It is quite important not to go anywhere, as cookies are cooked quickly. Put well-cooled cookies in a box and close tightly. If you can resist trying a couple at once… Bon appetit and happy holiday!