The world is keen on alternative foods and nuts are among the desired options. Nourishing, rich in plant based oils and fats [ no saturated bad fat], a reasonable protein level, and often a fairly rich range of amino acids.
Most people think peanuts, if you ask about nuts. There are many more - cashews, almonds, pistachio, brazil, macadamia, walnuts are among the bigger names, and of especial interest in Australia right now are almonds.
Growers have done it tough in recent years, but with some better weather, and investments in superior harvesting and processing options, it seems as if matters might be turning around.
The fall in the Australian dollar and drought and pest problems in California – which produces 86 per cent of the world's almonds – are further positive trends for Australian almond production profitability. US production is suffering from water shortages in California and other western areas and further falls in production levels are expected this year, and possibly into next season.
|almonds in shell|
|processed almond options|
Once you add in a wider range of marketed types of processed almonds - from basic options to extremely fancy tastes such as smoked, chilli, salted, etc it seems almonds are, well, sort of, the flavour of the month.
There are several articles recently that offer more details.
See - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-07-23/best-almond-season-three-years/4836836 and also
While little is certain in agriculture or horticulture, there are some optimistic signs for Australia's almond growers in the near future.
As a buyer of local almonds I think quality is definitely up........try some yourself, or do as I do, add almond meal to your daily muesli!