Everything You Need to Know About Pistachios

Crisp, tasty and nutritious, pistachios are known as a nutritional powerhouse that holds antiquity of around 9000 years.

Pistachio is native to Western Asia and the Middle East and it is believed to be indigenous to Persia. Its unique appearance of a semi-opening shell has gained itself names such as the “smiling pistachio” in Persia and the “happy nut” in China. Although widely known as pistachio nut, pistachio is actually not a nut but a seed of a fruit that grows in bundles! This unique tree belongs to the Anacardiaceae family, which is part of the same family as cashew, mango as well as poison ivy.

Fun Fact!

People love it so much, there’s a day dedicated to this widely popular superfood. Yup, mark your calendar because 26th of February is International Pistachio Day!

Why is the price tag of pistachios usually more expensive than other nuts or seed?

Pistachios are expensive because pistachio trees take up to 15 to 20 years to grow and reach full production after being planted. In addition, pistachios can only be sorted by hand instead of a machine to ensure these fibre-rich gems are of the highest quality. Thinking of growing your own pistachios in your garden? Well, that’s a terrible idea. It’s not easy to grow pistachio trees and only a few locations in the world has all the requirements ticked! This is because pistachio trees love extreme temperatures as they are cultivated best in the hottest summers and the coldest winters. To grow and bear fruit, the semi-desert trees need to be in an environment with 30 degrees Celsius and above for 600 hours, and below 7 degree Celsius for more than 1000 hours.

Each pistachio you ate came from a long journey

Each pistachio has to go through a two years journey to be delivered to your hand. Now, that’s a long time! The green buds of the pistachio fruit which have been growing since a year ago go through a hibernation stage in the winter. This is considered a sensitive stage because they will have trouble growing in spring if they do not get enough cold in the winter. Pistachio trees are dioecious, meaning male and female flowers are produced on separate trees. Therefore, one male pistachio tree is planted upwind of every 10 to 15 female trees for pollination to take place with the help of strong dry winds in spring. The nutrients-packed superfood is then harvested at the end of summer and early autumn. That’s not the end of it! These pistachios are then washed, cleaned and dried. Bazzaz’s pistachios would then be roasted and salted to perfection before being packed and delivered to your door.

Close up of a field of pistachios from Persia

At Bazzaz, our pistachios belong to the Ahmad Aghaei Pistachio (long pistachio) family. Ahmad Aghaei generally has a higher grade as compared to the other types due to its pinkish kernel skin and bright green kernel, which acts as antioxidants. A distinct characteristic of this type of pistachio besides its long-shaped form is its shell. Its shell has the whitest hue among the four types of pistachios. Their chic appearance and exquisite taste have gained the attention from the world and it’s no surprise why so many people are going nuts for them! These long pistachios are widely popular in places like India, Greece and Southeast Asia but the good news is you can now get them HERE in Australia.

There’s so much more to this delicious treat than its appearance and taste. Pistachios are extremely versatile to be incorporated into various sweet and savoury recipes that are sure to fulfil your diet. Did we also not mention for the hundredth time that they contain high nutritional values too? Learn more about the seven evidence-based benefits of pistachios HERE.