Smoked almonds are whole almonds that have been processed in certain ways to create a smoky or roasted taste. The mild almond is a nut that can be processed in many different ways to provide various flavor profiles. Smoking is a popular way to inject more flavor into nuts and other foods, and is often applied to almonds that are offered as retail food products.
The methods for smoking almonds varies according to the equipment available to the maker, and the overall strategy for enhancing the raw almond. In a roasting strategy, individuals cook almonds on a pan or cookie sheet over a flame. Where this type of smoking is often done informally over simple fire pits, larger manufacturers will use factory equipment to create the final product.
Others who process almonds may use a technique that some call cold smoking. Cold smoking involves a much slower smoking process in a cold or chilled environment. Because the smoke has to come from a fire, cold smoking represents one of the more sophisticated and challenging ways to smoke these and other nuts.
Some methods of almond smoking may include placing almonds in proximity to burning wood chips or other materials. Different kinds of wood can be used for different flavor results. By contrast, some manufacturers also use an artificial smoking strategy to produce smoked almond products. Liquid flavorings can be used to create a simulated smoked flavor. Artificially smoked products are generally considered a lower quality of product than those that have been authentically smoked in the previously discussed ways.
In addition to smoked almonds, these nuts are now offered in many stores in different flavors. These include barbecue, curry, hot mustard, wasabi, and other strong flavors made by dusting the overall almonds with various coatings. These products often are aimed at helping individuals to replace processed snacks like potato chips or other processed chips with almonds, simple whole foods, in order to achieve a less processed diet with similar kinds of flavors.
Another benefit of smoked almonds is storage. Smoking foods in general makes them less perishable, and has been a way to preserve food for many centuries. In addition, nuts are relatively non-perishable, although even smoked almonds do have a finite shelf life. Smoking almonds may extend the shelf of life of the nut by a small margin.