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The Pizzuta d'Avola almond

2021-03-13 19:15

Anna Sipione

The Pizzuta d'Avola almond

The "Pizzura d'Avola", known and appreciated even outside the Sicilian borders, is a typical variety of the territory of the Val di Noto.

"A perfect oval to make you think of Antonello's female faces"

The “Amygdalus communis” almond tree, native to Central-Western Asia, is a fruit tree belonging to the Rosaceae family and to the Prunus genus.


Presumably the first specimens date back to the Bronze Age, and in the same way there is uncertainty about the presence of spontaneous species in Sicily.

Depending on the characteristics of the almond, the following varieties are distinguished:

  • bitter, the seeds of which contain hydrogen cyanide;
  • dulcis or sativa, the seeds of which are used in food, in the confectionery industry and for the extraction of officinal almond oil;
  • fragilis (or sticciamani), with sweet seed, but not woody endocarp.

The plant has a medium development, with a wrinkled stem and a globular crown. The roots are fasciculated and are able to explore the ground covering a surface 6-7 times greater than that of the crown.
The almond, an indehiscent dry fruit (therefore unable to open when ripe), is composed of an exocarp called "husk" which dries up when ripe; a woody endocarp inside which is the edible part, the seed, covered with a reddish-brown wrinkled skin.
Often two seeds can be found inside the same shell and this characteristic can be both a positive factor, if the almond is intended for the confectionery industry, and therefore for processing, but it can also be considered a defect, if it is intended for direct sale. as a fruit as it is.

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“A perfect oval to make you think of Antonello's female faces” as Leonardo Sciascia wrote to describe the precious "Pizzura d'Avola" almond. known and appreciated even outside the Sicilian borders.
It is a typical variety of the territory of the Val di Noto, in particular of Avola in the province of Syracuse.

Distinctive features are the size, superior to other varieties and the final "lace" (hence the name).
The “almond of Avola”, whose denomination includes the three different cultivars known as Pizzuta, Fascionello and Romana, is currently included in the list of Traditional Agri-food Products (PAT) of the Sicily region.


It has a hard, smooth shell with small pores. Its seed has a flat shape, with a leather red color. The excellence of Pizzuta also lies in the fact that it does not need to be irrigated, in doing so we obtain a drier almond with a low percentage of humidity, with a shell able to seal the seed well, thus not allowing numerous parasites to affect the excellence of the product!


However, being a self-incompatible species and therefore not able to reproduce alone, it needs plants that act as pollinators of the same and, for this reason, the cultivar that generally accompanies it is the Fascionello.
Pizzuta d'Avola has a shelled yield of 20-25%, a value that can be considered within the standard norm.

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Natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, precious dietary supplement, rich in nutrients, the Avola Almond is a must in quality pastry, in superb granitas, in refined almond milk and in confectionery.


Contains large quantities of potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamins B1, important for the normal functioning of the nervous system, calcium, iron; for this reason it is considered a food that should never be missed in diets and in a healthy diet.

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