Nonpareil: The premium snack nut with the widest range of uses among the marketing categories, Nonpareils are readily blanched and cut for processed forms. A thin outer shell and smooth kernel allow for fewer chips and scratches during processing. As a result, Nonpareils are used anywhere an attractive appearance is needed.
Carmel: Actually a member of the California type varieties, the Carmel has become popular enough to warrant its own classification. A softshell variety, Carmel almonds are often used for blanching and roasting. They are uniform in shape and color often used as a substitute for Nonpareil.
California Group: This classification includes a number of varieties, all of which are blanchable, and used primarily in manufactured products. Shells are of medium thickness, and their skins are normally darker than the Nonpareil. The California variety is quite adaptable and well suited for nearly any process or application. Shape and color may vary.
Mission: Mission variety almonds have a thick, stout shell and wrinkled kernel. The skin of a Mission almond has a deep brownish hue. The Mission is unsuitable for blanching but its robust flavor and skin texture make it an ideal choice for roasting and to hold seasonings.