Thursday, August 13, 2009

Almond - the Fruit

My son loved science as a toddler and throughout his early years, mainly because we taught him that science was all around him and made life exciting. Like most young boys he loved building stuff. Lego was the blocks of choice. Dinosaurs were hot as were crocodiles, alligators and other scary looking creatures. We had great fun too going to the country and picking tropical fruits that somehow he never heard about in the books he read.

Eating unusual fruits can be a great science lesson. Recently when I took him to get his medical for college, he and I knew exactly what to do when we spotted some juicy almonds hanging low in the parking lot.

I was transported back to my early years when I was about 7 or 8 and I am sure he was too when almonds were a daily snack. Yes the fruit. When people talk about almonds they tend to talk about the nut but for us, almonds supply a double pleasure and getting to the nut is so much fun. One thing we learned early is that the nut is not a true nut, it is actually the seed of the fruit which we got to by whacking the hard shell (kinda like a peach pit) that we came upon after eating the leathery skin and the flesh of the fruit. As kids we'd just whack it with a rock unlike commercial growers who leave the fruit to split open on the tree.

Usually there was only one nut per fruit so we'd have to bludgeon quite a few almond shells to get to the healthy seed but as fun activities go whacking hard shells was pretty good and my son learned the science word for it - endocarp - pretty early.

You see the almond tree with it big green leaves, tends to provide a wide umbrella like shield. If you've ever been to the beach in a tropical country or state you might have seen one. It grows pretty well in sandy soil. It spreads like a canopy and so as kids we'd sit in the shade and pick, munch, whack and munch again happily.

Pity we couldn't do that at the doctor. We only managed to pick them but once we got home we did the rest. Aah to be a child again.


♥ Teresa ♥ said...

Hi Dee,

I just wanted to stop by and say hello. I hope you are doing well. I absolutely love almonds and they are so good for you! However, they are even better covered in chocolate....not quite so good for us! :0)

I hope you have an amazing weekend!

Many Blessings,

Teresa <><

Martinis or Diaper Genies? said...

I love that I learned something today!

I have to admit I am on somewhat of almond overload.

I put almond milk in my coffee
I eat almonds as a snack
I am obsessed with almond butter.

Any harm in this?

Anonymous said...

Lawks D , I do remember eating lots of almonds by the beach in Copacabana and at the UWI poolside. LOvely!!!!

Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

We love almonds in our household too! What a great way to learn more about them.

The Redhead Riter said...

We buy almonds in bulk because my husband eats them like candy.

They upset my stomach if I eat them alone. I'm weird.

Debbie said...

What a great story! I love teaching my kids about new foods.

Nap Warden said...

Almond fan here...although sometimes with dark chocolate:P