Chinese Almonds

(Sweet Southern Apricot Kernels)

First thing’s first – they’re actually not true almonds, but instead apricot kernels, or xìng rén in the Chinese language*. They’re also commonly known as Chinese Almonds, and for practical reasons we use this name as well. While they’re found commonly now in traditional Cantonese style nourishing and harmonizing home soups, Chinese Almonds were said to have been used by imperial Chinese empresses in almond tea to keep their skin supple and glowing.

*interestingly, the reverse misnomer also exists in the Chinese language, whereby the Californian type almonds are referred as xìng rén as well.

Safe to consume

Another concern to clear up is about toxicity. There are actually two types of Chinese Almonds – sweet and bitter. Bitter Almonds, also known commonly as beĭ xìng “Northern” Almonds, are mildly toxic containing traces of cyanide as a metabolic product of its amygdalin. They are typically used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) by TCM practitioners. Those sold in markets have typically been blanched, reducing the amount of toxicity to the point where it wouldn’t cause harm under normal consumption levels. Bitter almonds are also used by the Italians to make their Amaretto liqueur and Amaretti cookies. 

Sweet almonds, or nán xìng “Southern” Almonds have no toxicity due to the lack of amygdalin and are therefore perfectly safe to consume. They’re rich in protein and plant fat, and nourishing for the lungs and skin. Our Almond Powders are made with these Sweet Almonds.

Apricot Kernel Oil

Apricot kernel oil is one of the lesser known oils that have provide many health benefits, including benefits for better skin and respiratory health.  

Much like our approach towards our Black Sesame, throughout the entire production process of our Almond Powders, each step is designed and optimized to preserve and extract the valuable oils. 

Bringing back the authentic taste

100% Pure Chinese Almond Powder

Traditional recipes for making Chinese almond tea call for blending soaked almonds and squeezing out the juice, discarding the solids. Instead, our Almond Powders are made by delicately grinding the almonds (with skin removed) under special conditions to maximize extraction and retention of the natural oils within the particles. Numerous experiments were done before we settled on just the right mesh size (powder particle size), to allow for an enhanced natural almond taste profile and melt-in-your-mouth texture.

It’s also worth mentioning that many other common brands on the market use almonds that have had their oils removed, which give them a bland taste. Others have added a certain artificial flavour, which has unfortunately become such a characteristic flavour that many younger consumers have mistaken that flavour as Chinese Almond flavour, acquiring a somewhat unjust distaste. With our Almond Powders, we hope to bring back the real taste that would have met the approval of the most discerning Chinese imperial empress.

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