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The almond is one of the most versatile nuts in the world. We eat many varieties in many diverse forms. Almonds are delicious alone as a nutritious snack, and they are a prime ingredient in home kitchens and in food manufacturing. Almonds enhance virtually every food they grace with their distinctive taste and satisfying crunch.

California is the only place in North America where almonds are grown commercially. In the past 30 years, California's almond yield has quadrupled. More than 450,000 acres in the lush San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys are under almond cultivation, stretching 400 miles between Bakersfield and Red Bluff, California.

The pistachio has a long and interesting history. Native to the Middle East, pistachios are one of the oldest flowering nut trees. Recent archeological evidence in Turkey suggests that humans were enjoying them as early as 7,000 B.C. Flourishing in hot climates, pistachios spread from the Middle East to the Mediterranean, quickly becoming a treasured delicacy among royalty, travelers and common folk alike.

Dried apricots and other types of fruit are beneficial for your health because they provide a wide mixture of nutrients. They're also healthy and low calorie equivalents to other snack foods that people commonly eat. For a healthy and sweet food that will satisfy your hunger in between meals while simultaneously helping you to lower or maintain your weight, choose dried fruits.

Afghanistan farmers produce both sun dried raisins and shade dried raisins. Sund dried varieties are either black or dark red, available either processed or unprocessed. The shade dried varieties, or green raisins, are available from Shindol Khani (long) or Kismishi (round).

Although dried figs are available throughout the year, there is nothing like the unique taste and texture of fresh figs. Afghanishtan figs are available from June through September; some European varieties are available through autumn.

Walnuts are part of the tree nut family. This food family includes Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts (filberts), macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts. It would be difficult to overestimate the potential health benefits associated with this food family!

Cashew nuts, a richly sweet product of the cashew tree, have gained popularity not only for their succulent flavor but for health benefits, too. Whether roasted, salted, sugared or covered in chocolate, the cashew nut, often used as a flavorful complement to appetizers, main dishes and deserts, packs a mix of nutrients and minerals not found in many common foods.
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