Clean label almond paste sweetens the spot in taste, health and sustainability

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Almonds are packed with nutrition, crunch, flavour and healthy fats. They also provide sweet, nutty notes to bakes. Pic: GettyImages/Veracruz Almonds
Almonds are packed with nutrition, crunch, flavour and healthy fats. They also provide sweet, nutty notes to bakes. Pic: GettyImages/Veracruz Almonds

Related tags Sokol Custom Food Ingredients almond paste

Data from Innova Market Insights shows that launches of products with almonds have increased across the board, driven by the humble nut’s health benefits, taste, texture and versatility. Almond paste too, has seen a resurgence in the bakery category.

According to Sokol Custom Food Ingredients – a family-owned company that has been developing custom food formulations for 125 years – its almond paste is the leader in the category in the US and is ideally suited to help bakers add a nutty note and sweetness to a broad range of products.

Better still, with ingredient prices spiking around the globe, Sokol’s almond paste is 100% American-made, meaning lower freight costs and a smaller environmental footprint.

“Many almond paste products are sourced and produced overseas, leading to rising costs and supply chain concerns,”​ said Shannon Pimmel, marketing manager of Sokol.

“Our almond paste is 100% American-made, creating a more dependable supply chain, lowering freight costs and ensuring top quality to all customers.

“We can also accommodate any need for kosher, halal, gluten-free, organic and non-GMO manufacturing.”

Six generations of dedication

Sokol_paste
Almond paste. Pic: Sokol

Sokol’s almond paste is manufactured in a kosher-approved, SQF-certified processing facility in Countryside, Illinois, and can be shipped anywhere in the US in catering sizes for inhouse bakeries, foodservice and large-scale baking operations.

Although often connected with marzipan – and thus Christmas – almond paste is actually quite different. It has a coarser texture but is much softer than marzipan, which allows it to be spread as a filling. Unlike marzipan, almond paste holds up in baking.

“Almond paste is a baking staple used in many well-loved baked goods recipes, such as bear claws where its rich almondy sweetness can elevate a recipe,”​ added Pimmel.

Almond-Bear-Claws_EXPS_BMZ17_17081_B10_28_1b-13

A bear claw is a sweet, yeast-raised pastry, a type of Danish, originating in the US during the mid-1910s.

“The paste has an easy-to-work-with consistency that is perfect for blending, rolling or molding.”

Pimmel said whole, blanched almonds are used in Sokol’s paste, which provides “a deeper and denser taste”.​ It’s the same recipe the company uses for its Solo retail brand – which, he claimed, is “known as America’s #1 choice for its delicious and rich flavour.”

Almonds kaanates
Pic: GettyImages

Solo Foods was founded by John A. Sokol, a Czechoslovakian immigrant John A. Sokol in Chicago in 1897. By 1902, the business had grown to include four grocery stores, diversifying into coffee, tea, spices, dehydrated foods and anchovy products.

Sokol was instrumental in forming the Czechoslovak-American Chamber of Commerce after WWI, and debuted the Solo brand in the 1920s.

With six generations of dedication to the food industry, Sokol Custom Food Ingredients has evolved into a multifaceted business, producing an extensive portfolio from icings, caramels and chocolates to fruit glazes, sauces and frozen dessert bases. Services include ingredient sourcing, manufacturing, packaging, warehousing, inventory control and shipping.

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