Saturday, April 13, 2013

Pear blossom and green almonds



The pear blooms are very nice. These weak city trees have been ravaged by successive storms, the odd tornado, a freak snowfall (or two), and that Sandy. When the branches don't tear off and drop on you and your car they are very pretty. The blossoms have been open for two days. Poof! It happened all at once. 

But to the green almonds: What is wrong with me? (Don't all answer at once...) 

For one thing, there is my increasing lack of tolerance for poor service and bad manners. Even after eyeing these green almonds in Sahadi's I left, unserved by the five indolent men who were doing nothing, behind the nut and grains counter, lolling in the olive aisle and scratching themselves near the spice shelves. For once there was no crowd, and they were shellshocked by the amount of leisure afforded them. 


The point is - I have never bought green almonds. I have never even been deeply curious about them. Until now. I don't know why. I suppose it was just time. So I have been asking around. Bonbon hooked me up with a Claudia Roden-derived recipe for lamb, fava beans and almonds. Stacey sicced me on David Lebowitz and the intel that Parisians nibble green almonds with drinks. That's a good start.

Do you have any green almond experience or advice? I think especially of Turks, Syrians ...Syria: I should not have brought it up. Iranians?

Why do I think of almond blossom and Kashmir?

There are places I have not seen, and want to. Kashmir is one. I need to see Russia, having inhabited so much of its literature. I'd like to stay in a dacha in a birch wood. Norway. I'd really like to summer on an island in a fjord. Finland and cloud berries. A man in a store yesterday told me that I was Scandinavian and that if he cut me I would not bleed. I demurred. The clerk called security.

I'd like to have seen Syria. Very much. And the mountains of Iran.

Corsica...


15 comments:

  1. My husband (Jordanian) says you just eat them like a snack. Raw. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. i lived in damascus for 2 years and each spring, there would so many of these green almonds out for sale. i was so very curious about them, but not enough to try them. i wish i had, and i hope you try them.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wanderlust. I thought the plan was that several of us would move to Denmark together to establish New Utopia, based on good reading, gardening, good food and wine, HDR photography, handmade jewelry, house design, black cats, and orange cats.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Marie, Your mention of fresh almonds brought back a memory of 30 years ago, when i sadly agreed to move back east, away from CA, for my ex's job. It was late February and I was following the moving truck, sobbing, but with our new kitten for company. Heading south on I5, I started to smell a wonderful fragrance, but had no idea wher it was coming from. Several miles (!) later, I rounded a bend, and below me was a huge almond orchard in full bloom. It was a grey drizzly day, and the contrast of the sea of blossoms was fantastic - one of my best memories of Californnia.
    Anyway, here is what the CA Almond growers have to say about green almonds: http://www.almondboard.com/FoodProfessionals/TechnicalInformation/Pages/GreenAlmonds.aspx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Diane.

      That's a good story...

      Delete
  5. Thank god for the photos of blossoms. I needed to see those. You are always ahead of us but at least now I know the petals are in the mail. My sprig of a witch hazel can only sustain me for so long. (You should probably take Russia off your day dream list for the moment. My Moscovite friends tell me that the weather is pretty grim there too)

    ReplyDelete
  6. We just eat them as they are,raw. Try and you'll like it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Marie, I don't know anything about green almonds, but I do take mild exception to calling the pear tree "weak". I consider it an absolute miracle that the tree blossoms at all after the weather is has had to endure along with the incredibly difficult life a tree lives in NY. That is one tough tree.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The callery pear - Pyrus calleryana, has weak crotches (where the branch meets the trunk). They lose limbs every single season and are a very poor choice for street trees. I also think the blossoms are very beautiful.

      Delete
  8. Hey ! what about the CYANIDE ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're ALMONDS, Mommy. People have survived them for millenia.

      Delete
  9. Serendipity is this post: http://www.thekitchn.com/you-must-try-these-green-almonds-ingredient-spotlight-187805 appearing in my reader after your one...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Marie.
    It is indeed late for me to give you recipes for the green almonds, but maybe you'll cook some next year.
    #1 lamb shanks with green almonds : brown the lamb and pot-roast them and at the last 20 minutes add the green almonds and tons of spring garlic to the pot and simmer till done. not too long please. the end dish should be more like a stew, not dry at all and best to be served with plain Turkish pilav.
    #2 green almonds with yogurt : whip natural Turkish yogurt which is actually more tart than what you possibly can find there. mix it with extra virgin olive oil, salt and garlic to your liking. set aside. start sauteing the green almonds in olive oil. not to high heat. give them time to cook but do not let them brown, so keep stirring. if necessary you might sprinkle with a few drops of water. add some salt at the very end. let it cool to room temperature. spread the yogurt sauce on a plate, arrange the almonds on top, not a pile, but preferably single layered. drop more spoonfuls of yogurt sauce and finish with drizzling generously with extra virgin olive oil and some pomegranate molasses. then add some fresh dill on top.
    #3 leeks with green almonds : cut leeks to 10 cm in length. start with sauteing brunoise cut onions in plenty of olive oil. do not let them brown, just till softened. add some rice, but not too much. you should see only here and there. then layer the leeks in the pot with green almonds. drizzle more olive oil, salt, and a tiny amount of sugar and some water. cover it and let it simmer on low heat till everything is cooked. and once it has cooled down, put everything on a serving platter and sprinkle with chopped parsley and extra virgin olive oil. eat at room temperature.
    By the way, I am Semsa from Istanbul. I have started following your blog through Bevan's recommendation. I really like your posts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, Semsa. I love your website (Google translate helped me to read it...). I have added your blog to my food blog roll :-)

      The second recipe especially me has me wishing there were still green almonds! The dill on my roof is just ready to use...

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...