Salty, nutty, crunchy, crisp: ah! the plentiful pleasures of pistachio. Toss it into pilaf. Sprinkle it on ice-cream. Scatter it on couscous. Or simply munch a handful of it on a chilly winter afternoon.
Whichever way you eat pistachio, this green beauty will pleasure your palate and make you thank nature for its rich bounty.
The Pistachio In a Nutshell
It’s native to western Asia and Asia Minor, from Syria to the Caucasus and Afghanistan.
Archaeological evidence in Turkey indicates that nuts were being used for food as early as 7,000 B.C.
The pistachio was introduced to Italy from Syria early in the first century A.D. Subsequently its cultivation spread to other Mediterranean countries.
The tree was first introduced into the United States in 1854 by Charles Mason. Today, the US is the world’s second-largest producer of pistachios.
Source: California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc.
The Pistachio Tree
– Loves cool winters and hot, long summers, full sunshine. Hates high humidity.
– Grows to a height of 25 to 30 feet, with one or many trunks and attractive foliage. Lustrous green leaves turn a brilliant orange-crimson in fall.
– Comes to full fruition after 15 years. Its reddish, wrinkled fruit hangs in heavy clusters, somewhat like grapes.
– Lives on for centuries if cared for well.
– Yields nuts rich in oil, with an average content of about 55 percent.
REMEMBER: the deeper the shade of green, the more delicious the pistachio nut.
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