The Sweet Tooth: Paso Almonds brittle
What is it? Paso Almonds brittle. Perfectly crunchy, addictive almond brittle that's chock full of roasted almonds -- there are more almonds than brittle. It tastes super-fresh, isn't too sweet and doesn't stick to your teeth.
Who makes it? Almond grower and candy maker Rusty Hall started selling his brittle at San Luis Obispo's Thursday night farmers market in 1992. It's been a hit ever since (and Hall now also sells Sweet Hots, which are bits of brittle tossed with chipotle and salt; brittle corn, made with popcorn and lots of butter; and gluten-free biscotti and blondies -- also with lots of almonds). The brittle is made in small batches at his commercial kitchen in San Luis Obispo. The almonds are roasted as the caramel for the brittle cooks and just as they come out of the oven, in a feat of proper timing, are added to the brittle. Because there are more almonds by weight than brittle, "it keeps it from getting too hard and gives it that really nutty taste to it," Hall says.
Where to get it? Beverly Glen Pharmacy, 2946 N. Beverly Glen Circle, Los Angeles, (310) 475-0568; Joan's on Third, 8350 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, (323) 655-2285, www.joansonthird.com; Lancer Automotive (sold as Motorman Munchies), 8151 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, (323) 653-1100, www.lancerautomotive.com; Sweetsalt Food Shop, 10218 1/2 Riverside Drive, Toluca Lake, (818) 509-7790, www.sweetsaltfoodshop.com. And by mail order; for more info, go to www.pasoalmonds.com.
-- Betty Hallock
Photo credit: Paso Almonds