Today we only have January 29, 2022, but the first almond trees are already blooming. A good feeling to know that spring is slowly but surely just around the corner.
Already about 3000 years ago the Phrygians worshipped the almond tree as a sacred tree and over the centuries the legends about this plant bubbled up.
According to Phrygian mythology, Cybele (goddess of fertility) fathered her son Attis after swallowing an almond:
Due to this ancient mythology, the almond, free of leaves, with its precocious flowering period symbolizes the beginning of life.
Coming from Turkey and crossing Greece, the cult of Cybele and Attis also reached Rome.
This was one of the reasons why “Marcus Porcius Cato the Elder” called the almond “Nux greca”, the Greek nut.
Originally from Central Asia, the almond tree, Prunus Amygdalus Communis, belonging to the rose family, is known in Sardinia under the names “mendula, Medura, omendula”.
bitter - sweet
As a symbol of the excellence of the Mediterranean spring, this tree in Sardinia has been flowering in recent years, sometimes prematurely from the end of December.
With its white or pink flowers, purple anthers and wind-blooded, slightly allergenic pollen, the almond blossom season represents one of nature’s most beautiful creations.
This is followed by the fruits, which are called so-called drupes and have a green, hairy surface. Towards the end of summer, the outer wall of the fruit dries and dissolves to expose the leather-like core that guards the almond seeds beneath its pungent surface.
There are two types of almonds, the sweet seed “Mendula ucci” and the bitter seed “mendula marigosa”.
Although they are very similar, it is better to pick wisely rather than spontaneously because the bitter almonds contain amygdalin (Greek amygdalis, almond kernel), a substance that releases hydrocyanic acid (HCN) in the organism: a potent poison that can cause great damage even in small quantities.
Even more benefits
The ones that are generally used in the diet, in the herb shops (Erboristerie) and the perfumeries are the sweet almonds, while the use of the bitter almonds is exclusively limited to the pharmaceutical industry.
The almond tree is very common in Sardinia. It is the main ingredient of the entire traditional confectionery industry such as amaretti, pan di sapa, pabassinos and bianchinis.
Also on the mainland, the almonds are often used to make torrone, ice cream, confectionery, marzipan, liqueur and various drinks.
A symbol of love
The pioneer of this type of use was undoubtedly the last queen of Egypt to bathe herself in almond milk.
According to an old island tradition, the season of almonds coincided with love because on the occasion one immediately made declarations of love or even married. It was assumed that the flower could possibly produce a kind of “elixir of love”.
We can’t testify to this, but maybe it’s not entirely absurd to say that you can easily fall in love with the island and its almond trees:
The dreamlike landscape offers a particularly fascinating and romantic backdrop for a successful Holiday in Sardinia due to the delicate pink flowers.