They are not impressive or particularly beautiful the almond trees that fill the slopes of Kèa, as well as most islands of the Cyclades. But when in bloom, around this time of the year, they are such a joy to look at! Their sweet aroma fills our bedroom as one of the old trees—we have more than 30 in the property—is right outside our window.


They come in various shades of pink, and some are pure white. I guess the people who planted the trees, many years ago, chose different kinds; some produce small round fruit, others larger, elongated and very hard, difficult to crack. In the old days almonds from the islands were considered particularly delicious and fetched high prices. Now, with plenty of cheaper imports, people don’t even bother to harvest and crack them…



In a few weeks, when the green almonds reach the size of a small bean, or the nail of my small finger, as my neighbor says, I will collect a few to pickle. It is important to select green almonds that are crunchy but tender –before their shell hardens, and while the nut inside looks like a translucent jelly.



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