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almonds

The Almond (Prunus dulcis) is the seed of this tree. It is native to Iran, from northwestern Saudi Arabia, north through western Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, western Syria, to southern Turkey. The fruit is a drupe 3.5–6 cm long, with a downy outer coat. Generally, one seed is present, but occasionally there are two. In botanical terms, an almond is not a true nut. The fruit is mature in the autumn, 7–8 months after flowering.

Domesticated almonds appear in the Early Bronze Age (3000–2000 BC) of the Near East, or possibly a little earlier. A well-known archaeological example of almond is the fruits found in Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt (c. 1325 BC), probably imported from the Western Asia. The domesticated form can be found as far north as Iceland although the official distribution of the plant in Europe shows the most northerly country to be Germany.