Almond milk.

Ingredienti: per 4 persone

1 lb sweet almonds, peeled
1 ¾ oz bitter almonds, peeled
3 ½ oz sugar
10 cups water

Almond milk is commonly found in Sicily where it is drunk very cold in the Spring and around Easter time. It was likely to have been invented in a Sicilian monastery and then spread across the island as a drink that was refreshing and full of energy.

Almonds were introduced to Sicily more than 2,000 years ago by the Phoenicians who brought them directly from Asia. At the time, almonds were eaten as fruit to be used as medicine or in dessert recipes. It wasn’t until the Arabs arrived in Sicily that almonds became the foundation of Sicilian pastries.

The Arabs taught the Sicilians to mix almonds with eggs and honey to make a base for many sweets and pastries. It should come as no surprise that almonds have been grown across the island for centuries. Up until a hundred years ago, the province of Agrigento was the biggest almond producer in the world. Nowadays, if you visit Siracusa in early spring, you will be surrounded by rosy white clouds of almond trees in bloom.

almond-recipe-milk-2

Preparazione: 2 hours and 30 minutes

  • Boil the almonds in a pot full of water for 5 minutes then drain and grind in a mortar of food processor until you have a smooth powder.
  • Using a little at a time, place the ground almonds in a linen napkin and tie closed.
  • Dampen the napkin and squeeze the almond paste so that it releases its oily components. Mix this with water and it will become a cloudy white color.
  • Repeat these steps until you have used all the almonds, collecting the milk in a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the almond powder that did not dissolve with water and sugar and let soak for a couple of hours.
  • Then, filter the milk and serve it cold or at room temperature.

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