A Nativity scene in Mallorca

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Making almond milk in Portol
Almond milk in Portol
Almond milk ready for drinking

Almond Milk
Botanically a fruit and not a nut, almonds were found in Tutankhamum’s tomb in Egypt (c. 1325 BC) and have followed Man wherever he ventured around the world. The first almonds to reach California were taken there by Spanish monks, possibly even by Father Juniper Serra, the Franciscan friar from Petra!

Bitter or ungrafted almonds contain hydrogen cyanide, otherwise known as prussic acid, which is released upon chewing. Nonetheless, it was once used medicinally internally! However, large doses can be lethal, and the cyanide must be removed before consumption by leaching or roasting.

In Mallorca, at Christmas time, the shelled almonds are ground to make almond milk, which is eaten with a special bread made from potato flour. It is also considered useful in settling upset stomachs, and has some fame as preventing alcohol intoxication.