I realized as I was making these Almond Squares , or “Badam Burfi” as they are known in India, that I really didn’t know much about almonds. They taste great and come packaged nicely in the store and I completely take them for granted. Do they grow on trees, do they have hard shells, when do they grow, where do they grow? I did a little research on the internet and found some great information on the website of the Almond Board of California. Take a look when you get a chance.
In a nutshell (pun intended), the trees bloom between February – March, the almonds mature and shells harden March – June, the shells crack open July – August, and finally the almonds are harvested and shelled August – October. A lot happens by the time we get to enjoy them at home.
Almonds are highly valued in India. Many years ago, we used to always take almonds to extended family in India during our visits. I am sure times have changed but back then, the quality and prices were definitely better in the US. Interestingly, the Almond Board website points out that 70% of California almonds are exported internationally.
While almonds are important in India, sweets made with almonds are the ultimate indulgence.
I have a lot of memories growing up of my mom making many almond based sweets. These almond squares always started with a long process of soaking the almonds, removing their skins, letting them dry and grinding into a flour. Though they tasted great, I never liked the long process to get to the end product (even though my mom was the one doing all the work). Nowadays, I really do not have too much time or patience to grow thru this process regularly.
Luckily for me, many stores sell natural almond flour already blanched and ground. It’s a pretty simple process after that to get to the yumminess at the end. As an added benefit, this sweet is vegan and gluten free.