Avola Almond, Queen of Taste
The Avola Almond’s origins go back centuries and its cultivation, together with vineyards and lemon gardens, characterises the territory of Avola.
In the first days of February, the sight of almonds flowering is unmissable!
In the first half of the twentieth century, almond cultivation was the leading sector in Evola’s economic activities. By the nineteenth century, the botanist Giuseppe Bianca (Avola 1801-1883) had already studied the varieties found in the area and encouraged the production of hard-shell cultivars, such as Pizzuta, Fascionello and Romana. Today, the most cultivated variety is Pizzuta, an excellent product with unique sensory qualities enjoyed all over the world.
The most tangible evidence of the importance of almond cultivation in the economic history of Avola is in the numerous qualified companies that operate in the processing and marketing of this Sicilian product that, thanks to its unique characteristics, has conquered the national and foreign market.
So, the use of the Avola Almond for the preparation of dessertshas deep, fear-reaching roots. Go anywhere in Sicily and you’ll find this exquisite fruit being used as the fundamental basis to create local desserts like marzipan, martorana fruit, nougat, cubbaita, cassata, almond biscuits, almond milk, almond granita, almond pudding, which is also called biancomangiare.
The almond that’s most used in confectionery is undoubtedly the Pizzuta d’Avola. Its oval shape was praised by Leonardo Sciascia, who compared it to the perfect oval face of the Annunziata by Antonello da Messina.
Without adding other ingredients, the sugar is seamlessly put onto the almonds. The resulting sugared almonds, with the almonds used being so pleasing to the eye, are an excellent product and are in great demand on the national and international markets. For example, in Paris, sugared almonds are called Avolà, and Avulàn in Ravenna and the surrounding area.
Now, a fun fact from the gossip columns. For Harry and Meghan’s wedding, the royals chose the Italian sugared almonds produced with the Avola Almond. The new royal couple were keeping with tradition, for even the confectionary chosen by Charles and Diana and by Kate and William have been made with Avola almonds. Harry and Meghan opted for the classic white candy, produced exclusively with sugar and whole Avola almonds.
If you’re in the area, don’t miss a trip to the Avola Almond Museum!
Share this content!