Almonds are native to the Middle East and India. In Iran, India, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan and countries in Central Asia, almonds are called badam. From its native region, almonds then spread to northern Africa and southern Europe. From southern Europe, almonds are brought to other parts of the world, especially California, the United States.
The United States is the largest almonds producer, production is concentrated in California. The second largest almond producer is Australia. Most almond gardens are located along the Murray River corridors in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
Almond plants appeared in the Early Bronze Age (3000-2000 BC) in Near East. The famous archaeological example is the almond fruit found in Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt (c. 1325 BC), probably imported from the Levant.
Almond plants are not like peanut plants. Almond plants are classified as tall trees. Almond trees are trees that have a height of about 4-10 m, with stems that have a diameter of up to 30 cm. The young twigs are green at the beginning of their growth, and become purplish when exposed to sunlight, then turn gray in the following year. The leaves of the almond tree are jagged. The length of the leaves is approximately 7-12 cm.
Flowers grow in groups of five florets on each stem. The flowers are white and are pale pink.
Almond plants begin to bear fruit after 5 years. The fruit is ready to be harvested after 8 months from the start of flowering. Almond fruit is 3-6 cm. In each fruit there is one grain of almond seeds.
Almonds grow well in Mediterranean climates, with hot and dry summers and wet winters.
Quoting from Wikipedia, the name “almond” comes from the word almande, ancient French, or alemande, or from Latin amandula, a derivative of the amygdala form from the Greek (amygdale). In some areas almonds have different names. For example mandel or knackmandel (German), mandorla (Italian for fruit), amendoa (Portuguese), and almendra (Spanish). The Latin name of the almond plant is Prunus dulcis or Amygdalus communis.
Almonds are often dubbed as super food because of their very high nutritional content. Almonds are high in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, vitamin B complex, and high in protein. Therefore, almonds are very good for daily consumption.