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Why do some almonds taste bitter?

Every time, I find it terrible... And it has probably happened to you too...

Among all the wonderful activated 2DiE4 almonds, suddenly there's one that tastes absolutely awful. Simply bitter and disgusting. So much so that you immediately rush to the sink or trash to get rid of it.

Today, I want to explain to you how this can happen and what it means.

What is the difference between sweet almonds and bitter almonds?

The almond tree, originally from the Middle East and Southwest Asia, has been cultivated in Europe for thousands of years and is mainly grown in the Mediterranean region. Over the centuries, breeders have bred out the bitter substances from the originally always bitter-tasting kernels of the wild almond tree, resulting in the sweet almond. Therefore, the sweet almond tree is a descendant of the bitter almond tree

Why are some almonds bitter?

At 2DiE4, we source our almonds from Spain. In their natural habitat, there are, of course, wild bitter almond trees outside the sweet almond plantations. If a bee carries the pollen from a bitter almond blossom to the blossom of a sweet almond tree on its way from flower to flower, the characteristics of the bitter almond tree can prevail in the fruit. This results in a bitter-tasting almond on a tree that otherwise bears sweet almonds.

What percentage of bitter almonds are there in sweet almonds?

Typically, the percentage of bitter almonds in sweet almonds is around 1 to 3%. When we receive a new shipment of almonds at 2DiE4, it's always a true almond feast! Each employee counts 100 of the new almonds into a bowl and starts chewing and counting. On average, no one should have had more than 1 or 2 bitter almonds in their bowl. Otherwise, there have been times when we have returned a batch.

Are bitter almonds in sweet almonds toxic?

With a percentage of around 2%, the bitter-tasting almonds in our sweet almonds are neither dangerous nor harmful to health. And honestly, they taste so bitter that you wouldn't want to swallow them anyway 😉

What are the benefits of activated almonds?

The fact that you occasionally find a bitter almond in your activated 2DiE4 almonds may not be great in terms of taste, but on the other hand, it's a good sign! Don't believe it? Take a look:

  • Heating (i.e., roasting) reduces the presence of most bitter substances. So, with your activated 2DiE4 almonds, you can be sure that they haven't been exposed to high temperatures and that, along with the few bitter substances, all the other wonderful, valuable nutrients have reached you unharmed (Link to blog article "Activated Almonds").
  • California almonds do not contain bitter substances. So, if you occasionally find a bitter almond with us, you can be sure that your almonds were grown in Spain under the best conditions, and your purchase does not support the madness of almond cultivation in California. I'll write a separate article about that.

As you can see, the few bitter almonds in your activated 2DiE4 almonds may momentarily challenge your taste buds, but they are not dangerous. Rather, they are a sign of quality. So, well done! Buy again right away 😉!


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