The pistachio tree is native to western Asia, from Syria to the Caucasus and Afghanistan. Archaeological evidence in Turkey indicate the nuts were being used for food as early as 7,000 B.C. The pistachio was introduced to Italy from Syria early in the first century A.D. Subsequently its cultivation spread to other Mediterranean countries.
The tree was first introduced into the United States in 1854 by Charles Mason, who distributed seed for experimental plantings in California, Texas and some southern states. In 1875 a few small pistachio trees, imported from France were planted in Sonoma, Calif.
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW:
- Pistachio nuts are a member of the cashew family and are closely related to mangos, sumac, and even poison ivy.
- Iran produces more pistachios than any other country in the world, with over 200,000 tons per year.
- In Asia, they are referred to as “Green Almonds” and “The Happy Nut” . In Iran, they are called “The Smiling Nut”.
- Male pistachio trees are alternate bearing, meaning they produce heavier crops every other year.
- All pistachio shells are beige in color. Many companies dye inferior nuts red or green.
Published by Culinary Chick
My name is Anna Hattauer and I love to cook. I am a personal chef living in Maryland.
I grew up in California, joined the United States Army right after high school, got married, raised three children while going to college and working full time. As a young military wife and mother, we didn't have the money to go out to eat on a regular basis and had to make each pay check stretch. I learned how to prepare meals that were delicious, while staying within budget. While working full-time in the corporate world with the usual 2-3 hour I-270 commute, coupled with school & sports events, scouts and taking care of three children, it was tough to find the time or the energy to come home and prepare healthy meals for my family.
Being a military family, we have traveled to many places around the world. I love trying new foods, the challenge of cooking new recipes and having friends over for dinner as well as cooking for special events. After cooking for my friends and family for over 25 years, I decided that I wanted to share my love of food and make people happy, so I dropped the corporate chaos and attended a formal culinary school and became a certified personal chef.
I am a member of the United States Personal Chef Association and I am licensed, insured and ServSafe certified.
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