As I mentioned I would in my initial post, I tried sprouting a bunch of almonds which we purchased from Eden Teva as ostensibly “raw” and presumably from Israel and/or Egypt. When sprouting, after soaking for a day (see my sprouting instructions), I usually just rinse the legumes or nuts/seeds once in the morning for the next two or three days until little sprouts appear. Unfortunately, after about three they still hadn’t sprouted and figuring I’d give them some more time (just in case) I let them sit over Shabbat (without any rinsing, of course). By the time Shabbat was over, they were moldy. Yuck!
However, thanks to Seree, I have become a little more educated about almonds in Israel and am happy to pass on this information to you. She says:
Usually Israeli almonds are smaller than American almonds, and, if they’re bought IN THE SHELL [the brown dried shell] there’s a better possibility of them not having been treated yet in any way. To the best of my knowledge, you can’t really know for sure if shelled almonds are Israeli or not. Anything shelled in closed packages on a supermarket shelf is absolutely a no-go.
Often in the open air markets you’ll find unshelled almonds at good prices. Then you can also really see the difference in size between imports and local. In particular, Arabs growing almonds tend not to want to invest much money in producing them, so they don’t generally treat them with pesticides, etc. I get mine in Mahaneh Yehuda in Jerusalem, or Shuq Hacarmel in Tel Aviv, but I think any good open air market will have them.
This requires shelling of course…. and here, in Israel, it’s also easy to sun-dry them. I sun-dry the almonds, after first soaking them, by placing them in one layer on a big oven tray, then slipping the entire tray into a pillowslip so that I can put it outside without worrying that birds, bugs, and flying insects can come in contact with them in any way.
To Your Health!