Eat, Drink And Be indie: Tasty Recipes, Inspiring Maker Stories & Exclusives

Paso Almonds

What happens when an almond farmer makes candy? You get an almond brittle that contains nothing but almonds, butter and sugar, melts in your mouth and earns rave reviews from everyone who tastes it.

Paso Robles, California was once known as the “almond capital of the world” and we still think it still grows some of the best. Rusty’s family has been ranching in Paso Robles since the 1860's, and Rusty took over 93-acres of dry-farmed almonds in 1974.

We promise that there are no icky chemicals or preservatives, but we have to warn you, this stuff is dangerously addictive. That’s ok, though, because it’s jam packed with more almond-y goodness than brittle. That’s how almond grower and candy maker Rusty Hall keeps his brittle from getting too brittle.

At first, he sold almonds at farmers markets, but soon came up with a few, fun candy recipes that he liked to give out as gifts. in 1992, he brought some to the market to raise money for a local Literacy Council. You can see where this story is going.

Nowadays he makes his candies in small batches in a commercial kitchen in San Luis Obispo, roasting almonds as the caramel cooks and mixing the two together in a feat of perfect timing just as the nuts exit the oven. Local fans go crazy for the melt-to-crunch ratio, and now folks will be fiending nationwide for that same irresistible taste.

Photo courtesy of David Middlecamp.