Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Here we go gathering nuts in Spain


Marcona almonds receive prominent displays in posh ingredient sections of supermarkets, get name-dropped on fancy restaurant menus, and are frequently lauded as the best almonds ever ever by those in the know. Just what makes people go nuts about these almonds?
Marcona almonds to the Spanish are what San Marzano tomatoes are to the Italians or caviar is to the Russians. They've been exported for years, but have only recently gained a wider audience thanks to a growing interest in Spanish cuisine among chefs, food writers, and foodistas.These almonds are more rounded and plump, shorter, sweeter, and more delicate in texture than other varieties.
They also seem to have a softer and somewhat "wet" texture, similar to macadamia nuts.
It's easier to find these almonds than it used to be. You can definitely get them at whole food shops and any good gourmet shop. You can usually find them raw or toasted with olive oil and salt. 
If you only have enough Marcona almonds for a sampling, try eating them on their own or as part of a Spanish cheese plate. If you have some leftover, Marcona almonds make a fantastic addition to salads, particularly green bean salads like lemon roasted green beans.

Spiced Marcona Almonds
10 min Start to finish: 1 hr (includes cooling)
1large egg white
1teaspoon Flor de sal
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked hot or sweet Spanish paprika
2 Cups ( 275g )10oz blanched Marcona almonds
parchment paper
Put oven rack in the middle position and pre-heat the oven to 350ºF
Line a large baking sheet with parchment.
Whisk together the egg white, salt cumin, and paprika in a bowl, then add the almonds and toss to coat.
Spread the almonds evenly on the baking sheet and roast until golden, about 20 minutes.
transfer nuts on parchment to a rack and cool completely( the almonds crispen up as they cool ).
Loosen nuts from the parchment with a spatula and transfer to a bowl.




2 comments:

  1. I am going to try and wrangle a prezzie from my cousin who lives in Spain - I think she should buy me some of these for Christmas!

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  2. lets do it with the algarvian almonds :)
    Jorge

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