Avola Almonds have centuries-old origin and their cultivation, along with vineyards and lemon gardens, characterize the whole area.
In early February, almond trees in bloom are an unmissable, stunning sight!
Almond cultivation in Avola
In the first half of the twentieth century, almond cultivation was the prominent economic activity in Avola. Since 19th century the botanist Giuseppe Bianca (Avola 1801-1883) had studied the differetn almond varieties of the area and encouraged the production of hard-shelled cultivars, such as Pizzuta, Fascionello and Romana. Today the most cultivated variety is Pizzuta, an excellent product with incomparable organoleptic qualities, that is appreciated all over the world.
The most tangible evidence of the importance of almond growing in the economic history of Avola, is the presence in the area of countless, qualified companies working in the field of processing, transformation and marketing of this Sicilian product which, thanks to its unique peculiarities, has conquered the national and international market.
The use of Avola Almond for desserts making, therefore, has deep and led widespread roots. Everywhere in Sicily this exquisite fruit is the fundamental basis of many typical recipes such as marzipan, martorana fruit, nougat, cubbaita, cassata, almond biscuits, almond milk, granita, almond pudding, also called biancomangiare.
Candied Avola almonds.
Pizzuta d’Avola is surely the most used for candied almonds. Its oval shape was sublimated by Leonardo Sciascia who compared it with the perfect oval face of the “Annunziata” by Antonello da Messina.
Without the addition of any other ingredients, sugar is modeled flawlessly over the almonds. The final result is an outstanding product very requested within the national and international market, also for the recognized organoleptic qualities of this kind of almond. For example, it should be remembered that in Paris candied almonds are called Avolà while in Ravenna and surroundings Avulàn.
Curios. Even the British Royals Harry and Meghan chose for their wedding Italian candied almonds produced with Avola Almond. A choice of continuity for the new royal couple, as did by Carlo and Diana and Kate and William, that also gave candied Avola almonds out as gifts at their wedding. Harry and Meghan opted for the strictly white classic candied almond, produced exclusively with sugar and whole Avola almonds.
If you are in the area, do not miss a visit to the Almond Museum in Avola!