Almonds (Silvered)

The almond is truly one of nature’s finest foods. Recent scientific studies have concluded that almonds provide many healthy benefits. Scientific research shows that the consumption of almonds, as part of a low saturated fat diet, may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by dramatically lowering blood cholesterol levels in the body. Furthermore, almonds are a nutrient packed nut that are excellent sources of the daily vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body needs.

California is the only place in North America where almonds are grown commercially. There are 49 varieties of almonds grown in the United States. Four varieties make up 85% of all almonds grown in California. The four main varieties are Nonpareil, Carmel, California types, and Mission types.

Almonds are sorted into 4 grades. These grades measure the quality of the almond in terms of chips and scratches, amount of foreign material, and splits and broken almonds. The four grades of almonds are Extra No. 1, No. 1 Supreme, U.S. Select Sheller Run, and U.S. Standard Sheller Run. Almonds are also manufactured into 6 types of Almonds. These processed almonds are produced in two ways, blanched and natural. Blanched almonds are manufactured almonds with the skins removed.

Almonds are sorted based on the number of almond kernels per ounce.

18/20The largest almond size. This size yields 18-20 almonds per ounce.
20/22The second largest size of almonds. This size yields 20-22 almonds per ounce.
23/25Slightly smaller than the 20/22 sized almonds. This size yields between 23-25 almonds per ounce.
25/27Yields 25-27 almonds per ounce.
27/30 Smaller than the 25/27 sized almonds. This size yields 27-30 almonds per ounce.
30/32Yields between 30-32 almonds per ounce.
32/34The seventh largest sized almond. This size yields 32-34 almonds per ounce.
34/36Yields 34-36 almonds per ounce.
36/40This is generally the smallest sized almond. Yields between 36-40 almonds per ounce.
Sizing: Procesed Almonds
Blanched WholeThe skin of the almond is removed. These almonds are usually manufactured no smaller than a 25/27 size.
Blanched SlicedThe skin of the almond is removed. These manufactured almonds are cut into thin, regular and thick slices.
Sliced NaturalThe same as above, except skins remain on almonds.
Blanched SliveredThe skin of the almond is removed. Made from blanched whole almonds, the kernel is cut so as to produce uniform "slivers".
Diced BlanchedA processed almond diced into small pieces. As with all blanched almonds, the skin is removed. Diced Natural A processed almond diced into small pieces.
Extra No. 1Extra No. 1 is the highest quality almond grade. This grade has less than 5% chips and scratches and less than 1% split and broken almonds. The amount of foreign material constitutes less than .05%.
No. 1 SupremeNo. 1 Supreme is the second grade of almonds. As with the Extra No. 1, No. 1 Supreme has less than 1% split and broken almonds and .05% foreign material. This grade has less than 10% chips and scratches.
U.S. Select Sheller Run (SSR)U.S. Select Sheller Run is the third highest grade of almonds. This grade allows no more than 20% chips and scratches and 5% split and broken almonds. Select Sheller Run has less than 1% foreign material.
U.S. Standard Sheller RunU.S. Standard Sheller Run is the fourth grade of almonds. This grade has less than 35% chips and scratches and 15% split and broken almonds. Foreign material is less than 2%.

Types of Almonds

There are different types of almonds that one can enjoy every day, such as the ones that you can buy that are raw. Consumers can also buy roasted almonds that are either salted or unsalted. Today there are even flavored almonds for sale. Just to name a few of the flavored ones, look for chocolate flavored almonds, mocha flavored, or cinnamon flavored, etc. One well-known brand flavors their almonds with bold flavors like honey Dijon, Habanero BBQ, and chili and lime flavors. Plain, unflavored, raw almonds can be sliced, ground into flour, or chopped. Almond flour is used in many different recipes as a replacement for wheat flour today.

California almond growers harvest at least 25 different varieties of almonds each year that are actually categorized into 3 different classifications. Each almond type has its own taste and characteristic. The 3 major classifications are;

  • Nonpareil – These almonds have a thin outer shell and the kernels have a smooth, light-colored skin so they are easy to blanch. If you want a nice looking smooth kernelled almond that is somewhat flat in shape, nonpareil is the type to buy.
  • California – There are several varieties included in this type. These have a harder shell, but they are still easy to blanch. Some of the varieties in this category include Carmel, Monterey and Sonora almonds.
  • Mission – The almonds that get categorized in this classification have a really hard shell. The kernel inside is smaller than the Nonpareil and California almonds. Mission almonds have a dark, wrinkled skin that makes them the perfect choice for flavored almonds. Producers usually do not blanch this type of almond because of the dark wrinkly skin.


Nonpareil almond trees bloom earliest, and the fruit ripens before other types of almond trees. The other varieties can take from 25 to 60 days longer before the nuts on them are ripe enough to harvest.

Major California Almond Varieties

It is possible to order California Almonds either based on the broad classification type or specific varieties. It is recommended to be very specific on either the specific variety or classification preferred when placing orders to ensure delivery of the exact almonds you intended. For example, ordering “Mission” without specifying “Mission Variety” could result in delivery of various almonds that fall under the “Mission Classification,” such as the Butte, Padre, or Fritz varieties.