I went to the newly opened Salaam International Food Market and saw green almonds. What are they? How do you use them? Are they safe to eat?– B.I.
The easiest answer is: Green almonds are almonds that have not ripened.
In answer to your second question, yes they are safe to eat. The almonds that can be toxic are bitter almonds. The almonds we eat, and green almonds, are sweet almonds.
According to the Almond Board, green almonds have long been known as a delicacy in other parts of the world, and are starting to appear in menus more often as an exotic ingredient or garnish in the U.S.
They are only available in season, and that is usually late spring, early summer. You are lucky to have found some!
Here’s how the Almond Board describes them: “Within the green almond’s fuzzy hull lies a jelly-like inside and a skinless, white almond with a gelatinous texture, similar to a firm grape. These luscious pleasures encompass a subtle flavor that has been described as grassy, fruity, and even simply as “green.” Whether they’re used in green gazpacho or as a garnish to an entrée, green almonds are appearing on top chef menus all around the world.”
Here is how, David Lebovitz, cook, editor, blogger (Living the Sweet Life in Paris) uses green almonds: “I sprinkle green almonds over summer fresh-fruit compotes that include sliced nectarines, tart apricots, and juicy berries. They also liven up a simple scoop of ice cream as well, but I know many French people that just snack on them as they are, a nibble before dinner with an aperitif accompanied by a glass of icy-cold, fruity rosé.”
Open green almonds carefully. Put the almond down on a cutting board and insert the sharp tip of a knife into the fuzzy green shell. Then, pick the nut up with the knife and whack it down. You should be able to pry open the shell. Be careful!
Salaam International Food Market has opened at 3727 Colony Drive, in a plaza east of I-10 and Wurzbach Road.