Throughout history, almonds have been enjoyed not only for their delicate, versatile flavor and great crunch, but also their legendary healthful properties. Almonds are California's largest tree nut crop in total dollar value and acreage. They rank as the largest U.S. horticultural export. Approximately 6,000 almond growers produce nearly 100 percent of the commercial domestic supply and more than 80 percent of worldwide production. Nearly 80 countries import California almonds.
In the fall, flower parts begin to develop on the edges of the growing bud. By mid-December, pollen grains are present. The tiny bud remains dormant until early January when it grows rapidly.
A good chill during November and December followed by a warmer January and February coaxes the first almond tree blossoms from their buds. Because the almond tree is not self-pollinating, at least two different varieties of trees are necessary for a productive orchard. Bees pollinate alternating rows of almond varieties. From February onward, orchards should be frost-free, have mild temperatures (55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit) and minimal rain so blossoms can flourish and bees can do their job.
After the petals drop and the trees have leafed out, the first signs of the fuzzy gray-green "fruit" appear. The hull continues to harden and mature, and in July it begins to split open. Between mid-August and late October, the split widens, exposing the shell, which allows the kernel (nut) to dry. The whole nut and stem finally separate, and shortly before harvest, the hull opens completely.
Mariani Nut processes and markets both shelled and inshell almonds. Please learn more below about how almonds are manufactured or visit the "Products & Markets" section of the website to obtain specific product information.
A portion of almonds received at our plant come from huller/hhellers located throughout the state and are already in the shelled form. The first step for incoming product is to be run through cleaning equipment to remove any foreign material that remains from the field. The almonds are then run through sizing machines, which create uniform lots and allow the customer to receive a consistent product for the desired end application. From here, the almonds are run through a series of electronic machines that enable us to remove the desired level of minor defects (chips, scratch, etc.).
Finally, the product is run through a final visual hand sort and is ready for packaging.
At the processing plant, a random sample of almond shells are cracked open and the nuts inside are graded according to size and quality. Almonds are inspected to make sure they are whole, clean, and well-dried.
Recommendations for Storage:
• Store under cool and dry conditions
To find out everything you’d like to know about almonds, visit the Almond Board of California website.