Almonds — The Early History of One of the World’s Most Ancient Foods

Posted on : March 20th, 2018

Ancient Almond Harvest in Persia

Ancient Almond Harvest in Persia

Did you know that almonds are probably one of the first domesticated nuts? I think the history is pretty fascinating so I thought I’d share a little about that today.

Almonds originated in Western Asia (most likely, Persia) but the type that originally grew there —bitter almonds—are too poisonous to eat. However, sometimes a sweet variant like the kind we eat today would appear. Ancient people learned to select those out and purposely plant them. They quickly spread along the ancient silk trade routes.

By the Early Bronze Age (3000–2000 B.C.E.), almonds were being domesticated on the eastern Mediterranean coast, particularly in Israel and Lebanon. The nuts have been found in several ancient archeological sites, the most famous being the tomb of King Tut (Tutankhamun) in Egypt. It is thought that he was buried with almonds and other foods to take with him to the afterlife.

Through a variety of mechanisms—war, invasions, trade—almonds spread throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean. They were particularly popular in Greece. So when the Romans conquered Greece in 100 B.C., they brought them back to Italy and throughout the Roman Empire, especially Spain and southern France. Many hundreds of years later, in the 1700s, Spanish missionaries brought almonds to California. They didn’t do too well on the coast but when they were brought inland to where it is drier, they thrived. Now California farmers are the biggest producers of almonds in the world! Can you believe it? And Maisie Jane’s is part of that! We think that is very exciting.

Maisie Jane’s California Sunshine Products, Inc. was founded on strong beliefs and passion for offering unique, flavorful, top-quality, nut products. We strongly believe in earth-friendly practices that start on our family owned and operated orchards. We use Organic farming practices and continue in the process by using all-natural ingredients with no preservatives or GMOs. We believe in honest, friendly and helpful customer relations at all levels. We take pride in every task, every day, with every person.