Green almonds are only available for a brief 8-week period from late April to the middle of June, which is one of the reasons they have always been considered such a delicacy. One of the other reasons, and perhaps the most important, is their distinct taste. 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. Take Chef Laurent Manrique of Aqua for example. He pairs delicate green almonds with fish to bring balance to salty dishes like striped sea bass with saffron rice, chorizo, and fruits de mer. And then there’s Chef Thomas Keller of The French Laundry who picks green almonds fresh from the orchard to accompany his popular entrée of sautéed sirloin of Cloverdale Farms rabbit and his salad with mizuna and Santa Rosa plums. Even the Ritz-Carlton dining room in San Francisco offers a chilled Dungeness crab appetizer with pineapple compote, fuzzy green almonds and watercress.
So what’s this all mean to you? Take it as inspiration. Green almonds’ short life span is a great opportunity to create some seasonal specialties that your customers will come back for year after year. And hopefully that means they’ll be enjoying your other recipes or products every day in between.