Pistachio, (Pistacia vera), small tree of the cashew family (Anacardiaceae) and its edible seeds, grown in dry lands in warm or temperate climates. The pistachio tree is believed to be indigenous to Iran. It is widely cultivated from Afghanistan to the Mediterranean region and in California. The seed kernels can be eaten fresh or roasted and are commonly used in a variety of desserts.
Pistachio trees bear walnut-like fruits which dry once they ripen. High-calorie nuts are obtained from the pit, for which it is cultivated. They are rich in vitamins and minerals and are widely used in cooking.
Pistachio nuts are eaten whole. They are eaten fresh, as well as roasted, usually salted. Some people prefer them caramelized. They are put in baklava and cake stuffing. Pistachios can be found to garnish ice creams as well. They are rarely put into salted dishes as a seasoning but rather as decoration.
Not only are pistachio nuts tasty and fun to eat, they’re also super healthy. Technically a fruit, these edible seeds of the Pistacia vera tree contain healthy fats and are a good source of protein, fiber and antioxidants. They also contain several essential nutrients and have benefits for weight loss, heart and gut health, high source of protein, as well as helps in reducing the blood sugar. Interestingly, people have been eating pistachios since 7,000 BC. Nowadays, they’re very popular in many dishes, including ice cream and desserts.
How to Store
Since pistachios’ split shells expose the nut meats, even those still in the shell should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, where they will keep for up to three months. Placed in heavy-duty freezer bags and frozen, pistachios will keep for up to six months.
Shelled pistachios can also be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, where they will keep for up to six weeks, or in the freezer, where they will keep for several months.
If stored pistachios lose their natural crunch, they can quickly be revitalized. Simply place them on a baking sheet and heat at 250 degrees F. for six to nine minutes.