The seeds of Prunus dulcis var. Dulcis are predominantly sweet but some individual trees produce seeds that are somewhat more bitter. The genetic basis for bitterness involves a single gene, the bitter flavor furthermore being recessive, both aspects making this trait easier to domesticate. The fruits from Prunus dulcis var. Amara are always bitter, as are the kernels from other species of genus Prunus, such as peach and cherry (although to a lesser extent).
The bitter almond is slightly broader and shorter than the sweet almond and contains about 50% of the fixed oil that occurs in sweet almonds.
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