The Algarve is also synonymous with typical products, and the nuts are part of the territory's business card. The splendid blue sky provides us with a mild climate, conducive to the production of rainforest and fig trees. They are found mainly in the barrocal and in the mountain range, being the most characteristic the fig, the almond and the carob. They can be tasted in many different ways, either alone or in harmony with other delicacies. The tradition of the production of nuts is part of the Algarve history, and the various cycles of production, formerly all made by hand, represented a great part of the activities of the people, from picking, breaking the fruit, to drying and transformation. Although some artisanal processes still remain, industrial production has gained ground and this continues to be an important socioeconomic activity in the region.
The almond tree, Prunus dulcis (formerly classified as Prunus amygdalus, or Amygdalus communis) is a deciduous tree of the family Rosaceae. The seed of the fruit is generally regarded as a nut: almonds. Almonds can be classified into three major groups: the Cokes, whose bark is extremely soft, the molars, which offer little resistance and durázias, which cost from. The core is more or less sweet or bitter then.
The almond tree is native to the warm and humid regions of West Asia and was taken probably to Greece and North Africa during the prehistoric times. Today, almond is grown in most countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea and also in California (USA).
Almonds are widely used in the cuisine of the region, highlighting the almond sweets, exported all over the country and abroad, which is another landmark of the Algarve culture. The almond tree found soil and climatic conditions conducive to development in the region, lying mainly in barrocal, intercropped with other cultures composing the traditional orchard dryland region. Even today the almond tree is known for the beauty it provides at the time of flowering, in January / February.
The almond tree does not need much care. After taken from the tree, plantation and cleaning from time to time you arrive. Picking is done from mid-August to mid-September, depending on weather conditions of the year and hand labor. After the coat, are put in the sun a day or two, and then they are bagged. Heavy yet often with weighing scales are sold to intermediaries arrobas nearby. You can also purchase the almond and its by-products in fairs and local markets, craft fairs and shops, including local supermarkets, bakeries, among others.
The carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua) is an evergreen tree native to the Mediterranean region that reaches about 10 to 20 m tall, whose fruit is carob.
The rarity of the carob tree on a global scale holds up to weather requirements of this tree of the Mediterranean basin, known since ancient times. She likes dry and mild climates and can not tolerate frost. With regard to our country and beyond the southern slope of Arrábida, the carob are concentrated mainly in Barrocal, where they take reasonable expression.
The carob tree is undemanding in terms of crop, has a slow growth and multiplies by seeds and grafting. Its fruit, carob, is caught in August. The flowering will give rise to the production of the following year occur while the fruit is mature this year. Traditionally used as animal feed, carob has known a new impetus and new uses: from the liquor cakes, cookies and pies, past the ice cream and chocolate manufacturing. Even the oil extracted from carob tree seeds have been used in the cosmetic industry. Carob everything can be used, though its excellence is still connected to the seed, which is extracted gum, consisting of complex carbohydrates (galactomannans). In addition to the already mentioned, it has also had applications in the industries of pharmaceutical, textile and paper.
*Images in Roteiro dos Sabores do Baixo Guadiana 2018