Botanical Name: Pistacia vera

Common Names: Pistacho (Esp), Pistā (Hin)

Source: Middle East & Central Asia

Description: In ancient times pistachios were viewed as a symbol of wellness and overall great health and today they still have maintained their popularity. Archaeologists in Israel’s Hula Valley discovered pistachios and pistachio shells along with nut-cracking tools dating back 780,000 years ago. While they originated in the Middle East and Central Asia, pistachios spread to the Mediterranean and quickly became a delicacy enjoyed by mostly royalty. Today the three top producers of pistachios are Iran, the U.S.A., and Turkey respectively.

A member of the cashew family, pistachios grow on deciduous bushes which can grow as high as 33 feet. The edible portion of the pistachio is the elongated seed which has become known as the nut. The seed is surrounded by a hard exterior shell which is slightly split apart allowing for easy opening and access. This easy to crack shell allows pistachios to be sold commercially in the shell and when cracked, the shell reveals a distinctively flavored green nut. Pistachios grow well in hot and dry climates, take 8-10 years after plantation to produce crop and have many different cultivars although the Kerman is the most popular commercially.

Pistachios are often eaten raw and are often consumed roasted and or lightly salted. Perhaps pistachios most useful culinary use is seen in ice cream where it is used in the popular and always delicious pistachio ice cream. In addition, pistachios are used in the making of pistachio butter and pistachio paste.

Kitchen Pharmacy: Research has shown that pistachios are very beneficial in helping lower bad or LDL cholesterol while simultaneously increasing antioxidant levels. In addition pistachios are an excellent energy source and are high in many vitamins and minerals.

Nutrient Information: 1 Each

No comments:

Post a Comment