Almond Joy

Transitioning from heavy winter foods to lighter fare is always tricky when it is still snowing in the spring. Almonds add a delicate hint of aromatic nutty flavor to many baked goods, pastries and desserts, but also link winter foods to spring foods when combined with other flavors like a  twist of orange or cooler temperatures such as in icecream . The sophisticated peanut, almonds make their spring appearance  in glamorous gelato and buttery chocolate dipped orange shortbread.

Orange and almond are the perfect foreign food pair- both originally come from the warm Middle East, and were introduced into the south of Spain by Islamic invaders. Orange essence delicately infuses shortbread cookies, while the almonds adds crunch and depth. A little heavy handyness on the salt also deepened both of the flavors as well as added to the taste of the chocolate ( read: Modern Family episode where Gloria gets jealous of Manny’s love interest’s chocolate milk. The secret: add a dash of salt).  Gelato, the  Italian version of ice cream, has a higher butterfat and sugar than regular ice cream, and is less aerated, which gives it its famous dense, rich texture and flavor. Nuts are typically used to flavor gelato, although all sorts of flavors exists today. Il laboratorio del gelato makes all types of unusual flavors such as créme fraiche, lavender honey and sambuca.

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