'Almonds: freshly picked and lightly roasted in the kitchens of Noval, duly seasoned with fine salt and pepper are essential for evening contentment on the terrace or drinks in the drawing room. When first I heard the daily repetitive tap-tapping on the Noval kitchen steps, it put me in mind of a Song Thrush using his beak to crack the shells of garden snails. I soon discovered the source of this mysterious sound: Maria- Joao was seated on the granite step alongside a large wicker basket brim full with almonds. With a small hammer she cracks open each and every shell; once removed from their clam like enclosures the nuts are roasted to a golden honeyed hue. Removed from the oven, salt and pepper are liberally applied and the resultant flavour is indescribably delicious. This rare treat, when served beneath the majestic arms of the Noval Cedar of Lebanon, is truly unique.'
Quoted from the Quinta do Noval Harvest Diary by D. Eley