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More About Pistachios

Fun Facts

  • Fun Facts: Good For You

    The Skinny on Fat

    Almost 90% of the fat found in pistachios is the healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats.

  • Fun Facts: Good For You

    Trans-Fat Free

    As of 2006, food manufacturers are required to list trans fat on the nutrition label. Because oils are not used during roasting, pistachios are naturally trans fat-free.

  • Fun Facts: Good For You

    Full of Fiber

    Pistachios are a good source of fiber providing 3 grams per serving, that’s more than many types of whole fruit.

  • Fun Facts: Good For You

    Nuts Over Fiber

    You would have to eat two plums to get the same amount of fiber found in one serving of pistachios.

  • Fun Facts: Nuts About History

    The Original Prehistoric Snack

    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.

  • Fun Facts: Nuts About History

    Early Trail Mix

    Thanks to their high nutritional value and long storage life, pistachios were an indispensable travel item among early explorers and traders, including travelers across the ancient Silk Road that connected China with the West.

  • Fun Facts: Royal Origins

    Regally Gifted

    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.

  • Fun Facts: Royal Origins

    Early Gourmands?

    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.

  • Fun Facts: Royal Origins

    Royally Selfish

    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.

  • Fun Facts: All in the Family

    Kissing Cousins

    Pistachios are related to the mango fruit and the spice sumac.

  • Fun Facts: All in the Family

    It's Not Pig Latin

    The word pistachio as we know it today has its origins in the Mediterranean: from the Latin pistacium and the Greek pistakion.

  • Fun Facts: All in the Family

    What’s in a Name?

    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.”

  • Fun Facts: Coming to America

    Nuts Under Cover

    In America, pistachios were once dyed red to disguise shell imperfections and make the nuts stand out in vending machines.

  • Fun Facts: Coming to America

    There's Gold in Them Hills!

    Pistachios are a relatively new U.S. crop. Until the 1970's, no domestic pistachio industry existed. Now, California produces upwards 300 million pounds of pistachios, about 98 percent of the domestic crop.

  • Fun Facts: Coming to America

    Thank You, James

    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.

  • Fun Facts: Growth Spurt

    Opening Up is a Good Thing

    Pistachios grow in heavy grape-like clusters surrounded by a fleshy hull. When they ripen in late summer or early autumn, the pistachio kernel fills inside the shell so vigorously that it splits the shell.

  • Fun Facts: Growth Spurt

    Celebrate Good Times, Come On

    February 26th is recognized by pistachio lovers as World Pistachio Day; a day to honor the historical nut.

  • Fun Facts: Growth Spurt

    No Viagra Necessary

    Pistachio trees are wind-pollinated, with one male tree producing enough pollen for 25 nut-bearing females. Female trees produce their first nuts at about age five and can bear fruit for up to 200 years.

  • Fun Facts: Growth Spurt

    24 Hour Harvest

    At harvest, mechanical tree shakers knock pistachios onto a catching frame, from which they are loaded onto containers and rushed to the processing plant. Pistachios must be hulled and dried immediately to preserve their delicate quality.

  • Fun Facts: Growth Spurt

    For Best Results, a Light Chill

    Pistachio orchards bear nuts in “alternate-bearing” cycles, i.e., their crop year is heavy one year and light the next. Trees require about 1,000 hours of temperatures at 45 degrees F or below for good production.

Pistachio Fun Facts

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