SomruS Origins: The History of Almonds
Five is a significant and important number. There are five senses through which we perceive the world, and Aristotle posited that the universe was made up of five basic elements: earth, water, air, fire and ether. So it’s no wonder that we chose five essential flavors to create SomruS. And one of those flavors would have been as familiar to Aristotle as it is today, considering that almonds originated in the Mediterranean.
A Brief History of Almonds
Little known fact about the almond: it’s a seed, and not a true nut. It’s also one of the first domesticated plants. Most wild almonds are bitter, and a surprisingly excellent source of cyanide. No one is quite sure how the sweet (safe) almonds were isolated and cultivated away from the bitter, deadly and wild variety, but we’re guessing that there was a body count. Cyanide aside, domesticated almonds started spreading during the Bronze Age around 3,000 BC, eventually being cultivated as far as India and Iceland.
In India, almonds soaked in water are often given to children in the morning, and they’re considered to be brain food to help children learn throughout the day. Almonds also play a traditional role in sweets like mithai, and they’re also a common gift during the festival of Diwali.
Today, the US is the world’s biggest producer of almonds, with California supplying the majority. In the culinary world, almonds have endless uses. From baking and butters to desserts and entrée accents, they’re also delicious raw and unadorned. When we were deciding on the best way to round out the flavors of SomruS, we knew we couldn’t do it without the rich and incomparable flavor of almonds. We love old-school, classic flavors, and nothing fits that bill better than almonds.