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Tree (Prunus dulcis) in the rose family, native to South Asia; also its edible seed, or nut. The tree, growing somewhat larger and living longer than the peach, is strikingly beautiful when in flower. The nuts are either sweet or bitter. Sweet almonds are the edible type consumed as nuts and used in cooking. The extracted oil of bitter almonds is used to make flavouring extracts for foods and liqueurs. Almonds provide small amounts of protein, iron, calcium, phosphorus, and B vitamins and are high in fat. They are commonly used in confectionery baking and in marzipan, a traditional European candy.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on almond, visit Britannica.com.