The almond is really not a nut at all but the kernel of the almond tree fruit which are grown extensively in California, the Mediterranean, Australia and South America. There are 2 main types of almonds, sweet and bitter. The flavor of sweet almonds is delicate and slightly sweet and are readily available in markets and are the variety used in recipes. They carry a healthy dose of oleic acid, an antioxidant. In a nutshell, almonds are a nutritional powerhouse packed with calcium, fiber, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin and vitamin E. For the sweet almonds, toasting them before using in recipes intensifies their flavor and adds crunch. The sale of bitter almonds is illegal in the United states due to the toxicity that is destroyed wtihin the nuts are heated. When they are processed they are used to flavor extracts and liqueurs.