Monday, October 10, 2011

Marcona Almonds - Not Your Typical Almond

For those of you not familiar with marcona almonds they are not your typical almond. Marcona nuts are fatter, rounder and have a buttery taste, like a cross between an almond and a macadamia nut.

The Marcona almond grows in the coastal areas of Spain, mainly in the region around Valencia and Alicante. The marcona has an insect resistant hard shell and can therefore be grown without the use of pesticides.

The Marcona tree is actually quite difficult to grow and is not very productive. It is a risky proposition for an almond producer to grow Marconas as they are harvested in February and a freeze could destroy the crop. But the risk is worth the reward, because Marconas are savored all over the world and are a staple at Spanish tapas bars everywhere. Chefs in Spain also prefer cooking with the Marcona and they are used in the production of traditional Spanish turrón, a nougat confection that is very popular in the holiday season.

At Culinary Collective we import Matiz Marcona almonds which are fried in olive oil and salted. They complement everything from cheese and fruit to wine or beer. Also try adding them to salads, chopped and sprinkled on desserts or as a coating on fish.