Willis Orchard Co

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It is the goal of Willis Orchard Company to make you a satisfied customer--we can accomplish this only by providing quality trees and plants at affordable prices.

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Buffalo, NY

Willis Orchard Co

Be aware of what you are ordering

We ordered a Hall's Hardy Almond Tree that was promised to produce "sweet delicious" almonds. After two years, we realized that they sent us a nectarine tree instead of an almond tree. They sent us another tree. After two more years we realized that the almond are very bitter. After few exchange of emails, the owner of Willis Orchards wrote: "This particular variety has to be roasted and salted as they have a little bit more bitter taste than the other varieties of almonds." Trust us, almonds are no where close to being a little bit more bitter. They are really bitter. Please search and see what is said about bitter almonds. First, their sale is prohibited in the United States. Second, eating five almonds can $@!#% a person.

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Hall's Hardy Almonds are not "bitter-pit" almonds and are not harmful. We as well as multiple competitors offer this variety as an option for those living in colder climates that are generally outside the growing range for the better commercial varieties. A summary of the reply given Mr. Golzy is as follows:
The term “sweet pit” refers to edible pits as opposed to the “bitter pit” which you really do not or should not eat. Let me switch pits and mention the Apricots. Most apricots are “bitter pit” and have enough cyanide to make it bitter and toxic if eaten in quantity. But there are several “Sweet pit” apricots like Montrose and Chinese (Mormon) which are sold as “Sweet Pit”. This is a relative thing. They are edible but not like a Non pareil Almond.
We have eaten the Halls Hardy and it has a good almond flavor. It is definitely much harder to crack. It is not as sweet as the commercial almonds because it does have a touch of bitterness to it (so does a walnut in my opinion when comparing Walnuts to Pecans or Almonds). But it is not a “bitter pit” and inedible. And it is a beautiful tree in the spring and can grow almonds into colder areas than the “sweeter” commercial varieties if you are willing to work a little harder for the kernels. And semi-self fertile so you don’t have to use a pollinator although if nuts are important to you, you should.
I learned something new browsing the internet that cooking seems to remove the touch of bitterness. I will be revising our fruit guide to reflect the “bitter-sweet” so homeowners are not comparing them apples to oranges with the commercial varieties.

Willis Orchard Co commented on 10/08/2014