I have eaten almonds all my life. I’ve enjoyed them sliced, slivered, and whole. I’ve had them blanched, honey-roasted, and covered in chocolate. I’ve eaten them fresh from the farmer in San Rafael, California. I’ve scooped them from a heap at the spice market in Istanbul. I’ve even tried them raw wrapped in prosciutto. But the most memorable of them all is the roasted, salted almond from Fastachi’s, owned by Souren and Susan Etyemezian, in Watertown, Massachusetts.
These crunchy, plump, sienna-brown almonds, lightly dusted with sea salt, are perfect. They are nonpareil, size 18/20 from California. In Watertown, the Etyemezians roast them, Mediterranean-style, in small batches in a steel drum. They hand-sift them to make sure only whole nuts make it into the package. They season them with sea salt. The result is a full almond taste—not woody, bland, or bitter. My favorite way to eat them? Straight out of the bag. $11.99/pound http://www.fastachi.com