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There are two types of almonds – bitter and sweet. Most almonds grown in Britain are bitter almonds which may be used in small quantities for flavouring, but should not be eaten for dessert. The sweet almond is the one commonly used for dessert and for cooking. Remove any husk and fibre from the shells with a dry nail brush. Spread out the nuts in a single layer at room temperature with a current of air until the shells are dry. Store in a cool place. If shells are difficult to crack after storage, put the nuts in a warm oven for a few minutes and this will make them easier to crack.

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