I am always on the lookout for snacks that are not only healthy for you, but great tasting. So, when I stumbled upon Almondina cookies, which contain no added fat, no cholesterol and no salt, I had to try them with my family. The cookie and business came about from a famed symphony conductor, grandmother. I love it when cookies and treats, which are passed down from generation to generation make it on store shelves, as it gives the general public the chance to try wonderful creations. My grandmother is of Italian decent and spent the holidays making handmade cookies and pastries for friends and family to enjoy. If only she had a recipe that she could write down. Instead, whenever someone in the family asked, she would invite them to watch her make it, and tell them to use a pinch here, a pinch there, a handful here, a couple of cups here, but never offered precise measurements. Because of this, family favorites cookie recipes cannot be recreated or shared. This is the one thing I miss now that my grandmother is in a nursing home with Alzheimer's Disease. The only thing we have to hold on to are memories of family time around the table, enjoying Grandma's sweet treats and tasty cookies.
|Yuval Zaliouk and his Grandmother, Dina|
So, when I read about Yuval Zaliouk, an internationally known symphony conductor and gourmet chef, and how his cookie business came about, it made me think back on those times we watch my grandmother bake in the kitchen. As I am typing this, I can still smell the vanilla and freshly, toasted almonds she would use in her Italian cookie recipes. Ahh, the memories, I will cherish forever. :-)
Yuval Zaliouk always had a special place in his heart (and stomach) for his grandmother Dina's secret cookie, which was an exquisite, crunchy wafer with the delicate flavor of roasted almonds, the natural sweetness of plump raisins and the warmth of vanilla. And, before her passing, Dina shared this secret cookie recipe with her daughter, Ahuda, who was Yuval's mother. And, so the Almondina (named after his Grandmother) was brought to market, for all to enjoy.
I was sent a sampling of Almondina cookies to try, including The Original cookie, which is chock full of roasted almonds and plump raisins. After taking a bite out of this thin, yet crunchy cookie, I was in heaven, Who knew that something so tasty, was also good for you? In addition to the Original, Almondina also offers 6 additional, popular variations of this healthy cookie including the AlmonDuo® - the irresistible taste of almonds and pistachios, Cinnaroma® - for the cinnamon lover, Gingerspice - with zesty chunks of flavorful, real ginger, Anniversary™ - the Original with a hint of anise, Sesame - exotic roasted sesame with almonds and raisins and Choconut - a rich tasting chocolate cookie. Each Almondina® biscuit is unique and has no cholesterol; no preservatives and no added fat or salt. In addition, Almondina also comes in Sesame, Pumpkin Spice, Chocolate Cherry, Chocolate dipped, Yogurt Dipped Almondina, and milk chocolate variations.
Out of the six flavors I was sent, I have to say that my favorites were the Chocolate Cherry, Original and Ginger Spice cookies. I couldn't get over how much flavor was packed into these thin, wafer-like cookies. And, when you took a bite, you could taste each of the ingredients, including fresh, plump cherries and raisins. And, the roasted almonds really made each cookie. I can see why Yulval's grandmother held on tight to this recipe, but am also happy to see that she finally shared with his mother, so that they could continue making this great cookies, and let us try them.
If you love dipping cookies for your teas or coffee, like to use thin wafer-like cookies as a base to your dessert, or just like to grab a healthy snack on the go, why not give Almondina cookies a try? You will not be disappointed with the overall flavor and taste of each of the Almondina variations.
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Almondina is readily available at stores such as Fairway, Publix, Hy Vee, Giant Eagle, Brookshire, Mollie Stone’s, Hannaford, Jewel, Whole Foods, The Fresh Market, Trader Joes, TJ Maxx, Marshalls and many others. Visit their website and use their store locator, to find a retailer near you who carries Almondina.
One lucky reader will win the same sampler I was sent, thanks to the folks at Almondina. To enter, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!
Disclosure: I was sent samples from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. The views above are mine and mine alone.