Odd nutshell found in trail mix

Asked January 11, 2018, 7:54 PM EST

My son found this odd gem while having snack and brought it home. Bag labeled peanuts, almonds, cashews, raisins, and M&M's. Also labeled as made in the US which based on my small googling baffles me as I think this is a bitter almond. I cracked open to try and unsolve, nut was in the bag whole. Please help if you can ID.

Suffolk County New York almond

1 Response

It's very unlikely that this is a bitter almond (Prunus dulcis var. amara), since this type of almond is very rarely used in foods sold in the US because of its high cyanide content. Many of the world's almonds - at least 60 percent - are grown in the US and there are at least five varieties grown here, all sweet almonds (Prunus dulcis), with shells that look pretty different from each other. Here's a link to a commercial site with good illustrations of the various commonly grown types. You might have better success identifying the variety your son found in the mix with this key since you have the shell in front of you.
https://www.maisiejanes.com/blogs/the-nut-blog/5-common-california-almond-varieties