Cookbook | Recipes | Ingredients | Nuts

The almond is a tree nut derived from the pit of a stone fruit related to the plum, cherry, peach, apricot, and nectarine. Bitter almonds and the seeds of related fruits contain precursor compounds to the poison cyanide, and they are not safe to consume raw in even moderate quantities. Sweet almonds, however, are safe to eat raw.


Almonds in various states of processing. From right to left, top to bottom: Whole in-shell, cracked, shelled, and blanched

Whole almonds have a thick shell that must be removed to access the nut meat. The nut itself is covered with a papery brown peel. They have a dense texture and mild flavor. Bitter almonds are aromatic but have an unpalatable flavor and contain toxic compounds when unprocessed.


Almonds may be used whole or further processed for use in cooking.

The nuts may be blanched to remove the brown peels. This involves dipping them into boiling water before soaking in cold water, which makes the peels loose enough to slip off.

Almonds may be roasted and/or salted. They can be sold whole or slivered. They may also be ground to produce almond meal, which is often used in baking, or soaked in water to make almond milk.

Bitter almonds are not safe to eat raw, but they can be processed into almond extract.

Almonds go well with cherries and chocolate.


Seasonality tables|Autumn|Winter|Spring|Summer|All year
Almonds Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Northern hemisphere                        
Southern hemisphere                        

Almonds have their peak in mid-summer and stay in season throughout the fall [1]. However, since almonds (like most nuts and seeds) will easily store for a year, their growing season does not significantly impact their availability. Roasted and packaged almonds are available regardless of season, and fresh unprocessed almonds may be hard to find, even in season.