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Partying
Yearly almonds fair
in Gordes, in March.
ALMONDS OF MONT VENTOUX

Almond trees used to be grown on the poor soils of the Sault and Venasque plateau, but also on those of St Didier and Pernes. Almond trees could enhance those marginal lands. Today they are grown on fertile plains to optimize their growth. Provence was one of the 1st world almond producers from 1880 to 1920. Almonds were broken during wakes at various people’s homes on a rotational basis. Now French production accounts for less than 1% of French consumption, with 99% of almonds consumed in France imported mainly from the USA. But the quality of French almonds is recognized around the world.

Almonds are rich in calcium, magnesium and trace elements. Great for health, they are part of the Mediterranean diet.

Numerous Provençal specialties are made with almonds: black and white nougats are part of the famous thirteen desserts of the ’big Christmas Eve supper’. Both nougats symbolize the struggle between good and evil. Each family have their own nougat recipe. There is another strongly symbolic Christmas Eve dessert: the ’Mendicants’, dried fruits representing the Mendicant orders that had taken a vow of poverty. Other almond specialties include: ’calissons’, barley water or ’mauresque’ when added to ’pastis’, almond paste, ’croquants’...

In Provence, almonds also used to be eaten green, and sold that way in June. To eat it, you needed to remove the yellow skin around the white almond. But it would quickly wither. For conservation and trade reasons, this practice has disappeared and is only carried on by elders out of nostalgia.

Almonds are also used to make a popular oil for sensitive skin.

The almond has a strong symbolic value, and it is found in Christian art and iconography as the Mandorla, a mystical almond surrounding Christ.

 

PRODUCER WELCOMING
Some almond producers, as part of their diversification, welcome you in lodges or B&B. They will share with you the passion of their experiences and skills.
  • Nougats Silvain
    route de Venasque
    84210 St Didier
    04 90 66 09 57
  • Croquettes aux amandes
    INGRÉDIENTS
    Pour 4 personnes :
    150 g de farine, 130 g de sucre, 30 g d'amandes entières, 2 oeufs, 1 pincée de sel.
    PRÉPARATION
    Dans un saladier battre les oeufs en omelette. Ajou-ter le sucre, la farine, le sel, les amandes et de l'eau de fleurs d'oranger si vous aimez. Bien mélanger.
    Verser dans un plat bas et rectangulaire allant au four. Faire cuire à 250' pendant 15 à 20 minutes. Sortir du four. Démouler sur un marbre.
    Couper en bâtonnets ou en losanges et remettre au four 20 minutes sur une plaque rectangulaire pour que les croquettes dessèchent.
    Se conserve très bien dans une boîte métallique.
    514 calories par personne 20 minutes de préparation 60 minutes de cuisson.
  • Until the 1970s and 1980s, newlyweds were still traditionally showered with sugared almonds and coins when exiting the church. This goes back to the Romans, who viewed the almond as a symbol of fertility, and already showered newlyweds with them.