Almonds are grouped into two primary categories: sweet and bitter. There are, of course, some varieties that fall in between but the sweet and bitter are the primary kinds used. The sweet almond is grown for its edible nature. Bitter almonds are used mostly for cooking and cosmetics.
After the nuts are harvested they are dried to reduce moisture content in the nut to less than eight percent. At the processing plant about ninety percent of the almond crop is shelled. They are then sold according to size, style, and grade. For example, whole, blanched, sliced, or slivered almonds. Shelled almonds are also sold as almond butter, almond paste, chocolate covered, honey roasted...and the list of almond varieties continues.
Almonds are considered one of the most popular, important and versatile of all the tree nuts. They enjoy one of the largest shares of the world tree nut trade. We are only now starting to discover all of the amazing health benefits of these delicious nuts. Highest in calcium of all nuts. Almonds are also high in fiber, vitamin E and magnesium. Almonds help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease, and can help protect against diabetes.