Shelled and peeled almonds belong to the rose family (Rosaceae). This plant comes from central and western Asia; introduced into Sicily by the Phoenicians, nowadays it can be found in all Mediterranean countries and particularly in America. Almonds already grew in the Stone Age and their cultivation is thought to go back to the Bronze Age, therefore they’re the first cultivated fruit in ancient times. The Romans used them to prevent drunkenness. Charlemagne contributed to the spread of almond trees, because they provide food that has energizing and therapeutic properties. During the Middle Ages, almonds became one of the most used ingredients in the court kitchen. Just think about their nutritional power: they contain almost twice as much proteins as beef. Italians offer or eat Jordan almonds at weddings or baptisms because the fruit is a symbol of prosperity.
Almonds are digestible, nutritious and high in proteins. They contain emulsin, an enzyme that aids in the digestion of cereals and starchy food. They should be eaten in specific cases when the organism needs energy: pregnancy, convalescence, sports activities, physical and mental overwork.