History of Recipes
In the early 1920s, demand was outpacing almond production and the new cooperative, the California Almond Grower's Exchange (CAGE), added new members as they began to see the rapid success of the cooperative grow and increase the U.S. almond share of the world market. During this period, the Exchange introduced new almond products of different shapes and sizes to meet a wide variety of demands among consumers. To help boost the sales of these products, and to serve as a better retailer, the Exchange provided new recipes for how to include almonds in their cooking. Thus began the first effort ever to showing consumers how to include almonds in their everyday meals.
The pre-1950s Blue Diamond product line.
In an early 1920s publication of The Minute Book (the forerunner to Almond Facts), a scientific paper on "The Nutritive Value of Almonds" explained how the almond helps promote a healthy lifestyle. Author Agnes Fay Morgan, Ph.D. announced, "This nut is one of the most remarkable, if not the most remarkable of vegetable foods. Its more extended use cannot fail to improve the American diet." Her research concluded that almonds are "energy giving, tissue-building, contain high amounts of vitamins and strengthen bones as well as aid in digestion." Thus began the first recognition that almonds may have nutritional value in the daily diet!
As CAGE continued to show consumers how to use almonds in their recipes, it wasn't until the late 1960s that three new Blue Diamond pastes debuted in Sacramento and offered new opportunities to show consumers how to bake with almond paste - better known in Europe as marzipan, a sweet concentration of ground almonds, sugar and other simple ingredients. These pastes opened up new usages of almonds in bakery, candy, ice cream and restaurant recipes such as pie crusts, rolls, salads, waffles, frostings, milk shakes, candy fillings, nougats and much more.
Consumer advertising provided the "demand pull" to help move more almond products off the shelf. Full color Blue Diamond ads in leading magazines, such as Gourmet, Good Housekeeping and Sunset for example, told consumers how to use almonds in an increasing variety of dishes, while trade ads directed to the confectionary, bakery and ice cream industries encouraged increased usage of almonds as an ingredient in commercial products.
In the 1970s, a booklet called "New Treasury of Almond Recipes" published by "The Almond People" contained more than one hundred almond recipes of easy-to-prepare dishes that included elegant entrees, low calorie ideas, hors d'oeuvres, sandwiches, salads, and of course desserts and sweets.
In the 1990's Blue Diamond products now ranked at the top of the almond snack food category in America. However, to bring a new level of competition to the supermarket and to satisfy consumer tastes and preferences, Blue Diamond entered a new segment of business that had emerged in local supermarket: the natural foods business. At the same time, markets that only sold natural foods began to emerge, sometimes emphasizing a variety of natural almond products in the same store. This offered an additional opportunity for increased sales of a healthy, natural product like almonds.
In 1949, Blue Diamond advertising featured leading customers in testimonials about Blue Diamond's innovative new products, leading to new uses for almonds and increased sales and margins. 1949.
Beginning a new century in 2000, the Blue Diamond brand now competed in three product categories in the natural foods business: snack almonds, snack crackers, and non-dairy milks. A new recipe booklet published by the company then called "Recipe's for Life, Almond Breeze" contained recipes using the non-dairy Almond Breeze and included everything from smoothies to dinner entrees. This truly showed just how versatile the almond is, even in the natural foods business!
General manager of Blue Diamond's Consumer Foods Division John O'Shaughnessy explained, "Almonds possess the attributes that people in America and around the world are seeking in their food: they are simple, natural, nutritious, delicious, flexible in their usage and portable." With an increased focus on the nutritional value of the almond, recipe books were starting to include more information on the benefits of almonds.
As the decades passed, the list of Blue Diamond almond recipes narrowed down to those most requested by consumers between the original Green Bean Almondine first introduced in the late 1950s and early 1960s to the more sophisticated Blue Diamond Classic Recipes that debut here once again to honor our Centennial year. Enjoy the best of our best as you remember these 15 classic almond recipes developed by Blue Diamond to showcase the diversity and taste of the world's most versatile nut - from the perennially favorite appetizer to the world's best Almond Sherry Cake!