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Cafe Gratitude Goes Nuts Over Nuts

For such a notoriously hippie-dippy, peace-love-raw restaurant, the always self-righteous Cafe Gratitude has some surprisingly harsh words for the hot topic du jour: almonds. After a pair of recent salmonella outbreaks were traced to raw almonds, the Almond Board of California is pushing for a regulation that requires a pasteurization process, much to chagrin of the Cafe Gratitude cult following family, who insists on the need for raw almonds. Since over half of the Cafe Gratitude menu incorporates raw almonds, the folks there are pretty shaken up. Here are some select quotes from the crew: (note: the quotes from the manager are more entertaining if given the voice of a Summer of Love attendee):

1) "[Manager Vinicio] Penate says that for him, eating a raw almond is like eating the almond tree."

2) "'All that strength, all that force, all that information, all the genetics,' [Penate] said, staring at a container of almonds. 'They're all there. They're just untouched.'"

3) Says Amanda Caskey, retail manager: "The Almond Board wants to say there is no perceivable difference ... It's just not true. It's like saying a cooked apple and a raw apple are the same thing."

4) Owner Matthew Engleheart screams conspiracy: "It's not about protecting health. It's about centralization and domination of an industry."

5) And one more nugget from Penate on the almond: "It's the perfect balance of nutrients, carbohydrates and protein ... All of that, packed into one little nut."
· New pasteurization regulations have raw food growers heated [Mercury-Register]
· Cafe Gratitude [Official Site]

[Photo courtesy]