Did you know pistachio nuts are seed fruits of the pistachio tree (Pistacia vera) and a close relative of cashews (kissing cousins- I hear). Pistachios aren’t actually nuts. Pistachio “nuts” are actually seeds of red or yellow plum-like fruits whose flesh is removed during processing. However, everyone calls them a nut because they look like “nuts” and are in the cashew family!
Pistachios are called “the smiling nut” or “smiling pistachio” in Iran and the Middle East and “the happy nut” in China. Also, if you are sitting under a Pistachio tree and you hear the shells snapping open, it is a sign of good luck in those countries.
I don’t know if they still dye them red. They were dyed red (and green) to cover imperfections in the shell and to stand out in vending machines. When I did occasionally eat these as a child the evidence would be on hands and face (for several hours or more!) Hopefully, these dyed versions are no longer on the market.
This happy nut has thiamin, potassium, fiber (and loads of it), phytosterols, magnesium and vitamin B6. Additionally, pistachios contain high amounts of good fats, like polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which have been linked to improving levels of cholesterol and promoting heart heath. This nut, in my opinion reigns supreme!
Pistachios lend themselves well to many recipes too, as they are great to eat both in savory or sweet dishes/desserts!
How do you eat your pistachios..let us know and smile