Discover Willunga Almonds – Stories + Recipes by Helen Bennetts »
Recipes from the Orchard
For over 4000 years almonds have been steeped in symbolism, heralded for health benefits and incorporated in ingredients lists. For many decades the home of almonds in Australia was Willunga on the Fleurieu Peninsula of South Australia, where this modest kernel holds a special place in local cuisine and the trees’ blossom is still feted every year.
At one time 90 per cent of Australia’s almond crop came from this district. In Willunga Almonds Helen Bennetts celebrates this heritage and the almond’s versatility with recipes from dips to desserts.
The long history of almond growing in the region and the access to other local, seasonal produce inspires recipes that reflect this place and time.
Many dishes originated in countries around the Mediterranean and Middle East where almonds have been growing for thousand of years. Often the recipes were adapted as almonds were traded into Asia and northern Europe and combined with local traditions and produce.
Roasted with olive oil and thyme, coated in cinnamon and sugar, baked into frangipane, tossed through a salad, crushed into korma or just piled on a cheese board – the humble almond has endless delicious uses.
The recipes presented here are a small selection of the vast catalogue of almond recipes. They reflect the influence of the almond’s history as cooked in South Australian home kitchens with produce from the Fleurieu Peninsula: grapes, wine, olives, oil and seasonal fruit and vegetables.
About the author
An architectural scientist by profession, Helen Bennetts has always had an interest in growing and cooking food. She spent her university holidays helping in her parents’ restaurant and at various times has made cheese, processed olives, helped establish a farmers' market and catered for small and large events.
Nearly 20 years ago Helen and her husband bought a small property with some old almond trees in Willunga, on South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula, and she started learning about almonds and collecting recipes. Willunga Almonds is the result.
Willunga Almonds by Helen Bennetts is published by Wakefield Press (Mile End, SA, Dec 2016; Hb,152pp) and retails in Australia for RRP A$39.95.. It is available from 10th December 2016 at good bookstores and directly from the publisher here »
- Fleurieu Peninsula (SA)
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