Pistachio nuts are native to the Middle East. Archaeologists have found remnants of pistachios in the ruins of villages dating back nine thousand years. Commercial plantings began in the 1800s in Iran, which is now the world's largest pistachio producer.
The pistachio is a drupe. It's botanically related to cashews, peaches and mangoes. Pistachio trees can reach 30 feet in height. It takes trees 10 to 15 years to begin producing significant quantities of nuts; they usually bear a large crop one year and a small crop the next. Pistachio trees grow in parts of Iran, Turkey, Syria, Afghanistan, Greece, Italy and in the Western U.S. -- areas that have long, hot summers and cool winters.
The edible kernel is surrounded by a hard shell that begins to open on the tree as the nut matures. When the shells don't split, they can be opened artificially, by hand or machine. The hard shell is covered by a soft, fruity husk which is removed during processing.
Most pistachio consumers agree that the best tasting pistachios are grown in Turkey. And the best pistachios in Turkey come from the area around the city of Gaziantep.In Turkey, workers shake the branches with poles to harvest pistachios, usually in early September. The nuts then go to a processing center. Pistachios that are not being used immediately are stored in the husks. When it comes time to remove the husks, modern technology takes over.
At harvest time in Turkey, some of the nuts are brought directly into town and eaten as "fresh" pistachios (r). The consumer peels off the husk and eats the raw pistachio.
Iran and California pistachios tend to be larger and more open because they were developed from rootstocks that emphasize these attributes. Pistachios from Turkey are smaller and less open and have darker shells; but they feature a richer, more distinctive flavor than California and Iran pistachios. In fact, many pistachios eaters think Turkish pistachios are better tasting than any other variety, including Iranian. We think part of the difference in flavor is based on processing methods
In Turkey, the red husks remain on the pistachios until they're ready for processing and sale. As a result, the shells are a darker color and the nuts' flavor is more intense because the delicate oils were protected.
So in buying pistachios, you have a choice. If appearance and openness is important, go for California pistachios. If flavor is more important, try Turkish pistachios.
IMPORTANT NUTRIATION AND
HEALTH EFFECTS OF PISTACHIOS
*10-12 pieces of pistachios kernels meets the daily human fat requiremnt.
*100 gr pistachio nutmeat supplies 35% of recommended daily allowance for protein,vitamin B1 and phosphorus
Pistachios contain plenty of phytosterols, which are being used in some margarines to reduce the risk of heart disease. Some animal studies have shown phytosterols might guard against cancer.
They've been shown to help people stick to weight-loss diets.
Most of the fat in nuts is unsaturated, which helps lower the "bad" cholesterol (LDL), while not interfering with the benefits of the "good" cholesterol (HDL).
Pistachios and almonds are rich in potassium.
studies show that dieters who eat a moderate amount of nuts are more likely to remain on their diets.
Nuts are generally high in monounsaturated fat and low in saturated fat.;Pecans,pistachios and are some nuts with the best ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fat.Like olive oil,they also contain vitamin E.
Nuts also provide important minerals to exercisers,including potassium to regulate heartbeat and circulate oxygen in the muscles,magnesium to support muscle exertion and zinc for metabolizing energy.
Pistachios are a rich source of vitamin B,C,E.
CONTITUENTS OF 100 GRAM PISTACHIOS KERNEL