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SpicesSEEDS AND BEANSDRIED FRUITSHERBS

Spices
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Almonds
Almond trees can be found in Asia, Europe, North America and Africa. In the United States, virtually all almonds for commercial sale are produced in California. Grocery stores may carry raw almonds for cooking, roasted almonds for snacking, ground almonds for pastes and chopped almonds for garnishes and salads.

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Cashews
Cashews, with their unique, light taste, are harvested from a tree of the same name. Native to Brazil, and with the greatest production in India and Africa. These nuts are used in a variety of ethnic dishes and as a topping for salads and desserts. When compared to other nuts, they are lower in fat and carbohydrates.

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Pistachios
The Pine nut is the edible seed of various species of pine trees. There are several varieties of the pine nut. The most common pine nuts, in Europe, are the seeds of the Italian Stone Pine nut, Pinus Pinea and the Swiss stone pine. In the U.S, seeds of the Mexican nut pine are sold.

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Raisins
Raisins are dried grapes. They are produced in many regions of the world. Raisins may be eaten raw or used in cooking, baking and brewing.

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Walnuts
The walnut is a hearty snack on its own and adds a wholesome bit of crunch to a wide variety of dishes. Encased in a grooved, light-brown shell, the walnut kernel is formed by two off-white, uneven lobes and has a mildly sweet and sometimes bitter taste.

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Coconut Powder
A powder made from desiccated (dried) coconut. The powdered product usually contains maltodextrins and sometimes salt. The powder can be used for making desserts or added to curries or chutney. Look for coconut powder in stores that carry Indian foods. Delia Smith of Delia Online suggests keeping it on hand as a pantry staple and states it works well for making Thai fish cakes.
Moisture 3% max
Oil content 62-67%
FFA 0.5% max
Fine 3 - 5.5 mm
Medium 5.5 - 7 mm

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Peanuts
Peanut seeds (kernels) grow into a green oval-leafed plant about 18 inches tall, which develop delicate yellow flowers around the lower portion of the plant. Peanuts grow underground.

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Figs
The Common Fig is widely grown for its edible fruit throughout its natural range in the Mediterranean region, Iran, Pakistan and northern India. Figs can be eaten fresh or dried, and used in jam-making. Most commercial production is in dried or otherwise processed forms, since the ripe fruit does not transport well, and once picked does not keep well.

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Hazelnuts
Hazelnuts are produced in commercial quantities in Turkey, Italy and in the American states of Oregon and Washington. Turkey is, by far, the largest producer of hazelnuts in the world. Hazelnuts are extensively used in confectionery to make praline and also used in combination with chocolate for chocolate truffles and products such as Nutella. Hazelnut oil, pressed from hazelnuts, is strongly flavoured and used as a cooking oil.

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Apricots
The apricot originally came from China. Cuttings from the apricot made their way from the Persian Empire to the Mediterranean. Credit can be given to the Spanish explorers for the introduction of the apricot to the New World; the fruit flourished in the gardens of Spanish missions in California. The first major production of apricots was recorded in 1792 in an area of San Francisco.

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