The nearest taste to the real pistachio that I have tasted was pistachio ice cream. And I loved it.
But it was only this year (embarassed admission from here) that I got to taste real pistachio nuts. And I love it! And hubby knows that I do so each time he comes home from the Middle East (how many times this year, so far? and he’s leaving again a few days from now) I have packs of pistachio nuts stuffed in his luggage.
I am so entertained with cracking pistachio shells. For some reason, cracking its shell before eating it is habit-forming. It has become part of the fun.
Interestingly, these are some fun facts about pistachio nuts (taken from Pistachio Health website):
- February 26th is recognized by pistachio lovers as World Pistachio Day; a day to honor the historical nut.
- A dish widely credited for helping put pistachios on the American menu was pistachio ice cream, an invention credited to Philadelphia’s James W. Parkinson in the 1940′s.
- In Iran, pistachios are known as the “smiling nut.” In China, it’s called the “happy nut.” Pistachios are also known as the “green almond.”
- The word pistachio as we know it today has its origins in the Mediterranean: from the Latin pistacium and the Greek pistakion.
- Pistachios are related to the mango fruit and the spice sumac.
- Perhaps a true royal nut, the Queen of Sheba loved pistachios. In fact, she demanded that the entire region’s pistachio harvest be set aside for her.
- In the first century A.D., Emperor Vitellius introduced Rome to the pistachio. Apicius, Rome’s Julia Child of the first century, includes pistachios in his classical cookbook.
- According to legend, pistachios were featured in the fabled Hanging Gardens of Babylon, built about 700 B.C. by King Nebuchadnezzar for his wife Amytis.
- Pistachios are one of the oldest flowering nut trees, and are one of the only two nuts mentioned in the Bible (Genesis 43:11). Humans have eaten pistachio nuts for at least 9,000 years.
- Pistachios are a good source of fiber providing 3 grams per serving, that’s more than many types of whole fruit.