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Almond

  A nut of the peach family. There are two distinct types 'sweet' which are edible and found ground, flaked or whole; and 'bitter' which is used to make almond essence, but poisonous if eaten in quantity. (whole fresh almonds, in their shells, are illustrated in the photograph)They were enormously popular among the English aristocracy in medieval times – the Royal Household consuming 28.500 pounds of them in 1286 alone. Almond milk was used as a digestive - as almonds are one of the few alkaline nuts. This would be made by grinding raw blanched almonds to a paste before drawing them through a strainer with fresh broth and wine – this would make a well-flavoured liquid. If boiled a little it could be reduced to almond cream, and when sieved, the residue used as 'butter', flaked or whole; and "bitter" which is used to make almond essence, but poisonous if eaten in quantity.

They were enormously popular among the English aristocracy in medieval times - the Royal Household consuming 28.500 pounds of them in 1286 alone. Almond milk was used as a digestive - as almonds are one of the few alkaline nuts. This would be made by grinding raw blanched almonds to a paste before drawing them through a strainer with fresh broth and wine - this would make a well-flavoured liquid. If boiled a little it could be reduced to almond cream, and when sieved, the residue used as "butter".

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