Table of content A-Z

 

pistachio (nut)

 

Botanical name: Pistacia vera


Pistazie

 

Wild pistachios stem originally from Syria and Iran. Iran is today the main producer of pistachios. In addition they are grown in the USA – particularly in California – in Tunisia, in Turkey and other Mediterranean countries and in China.


Availability


Pistachios are sold the year round. They are available roasted and salted.


Appearance, taste, characteristics


Botanically speaking, the pistachio is a drupe, or stone fruit. It has a light-brown, smooth, hard shell that encloses the seed tightly until just prior to maturity. Then the shell bursts open, making it easy to open pistachios without a nutcracker.

The pistachio kernel is small, oval, yellow-green or slightly red according to the variety, and covered with a thin tunic. It has a pleasantly aromatic, slightly sweet taste, similar to that of almonds, and is tender to crispy.

There are several varieties of pistachio, but they are hardly differentiated on the market. Size, flavour and green seed colour differ according to variety.


Ingredients


Like all other nuts, pistachios contain very little water but are rich in fat. This makes them high in calories.

Like most hard-shelled dry fruits, pistachios are rich in fibre. They have large amounts of vitamins E and B1 and contain a great deal of potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron.

100 g contain:

Pistachio, fresh
Pistachio, roasted
Energy (kcal)
575
627
Water (g)
6
2
Protein (g)
18
18
Fat (g)
52
55
Carbohydrates (g) (g)
12
16
Fibre (g)
11
11
Vitamin A (RE) (µg)
25
23
Vitamin E (mg)
5
4
Vitamin B1 (mg)
0,7
0,6
Niacin (mg)
4
5
Folic acid (µg)
58
59
Vitamin C (mg)
7
7
Potassium (mg)
1020
1005
Sodium (mg)
6
6
Calcium (mg)
135
90
Magnesium (mg)
160
130
Iron (mg)
7,3
7,1
Saturated fatty acids
6,8
7,3
Monounsaturated fatty acids (g)
34,8
37,3
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (g)
7,6
8,2



Harmful substances


As has already been mentioned in the chapter "Nuts and Seeds", hard-shelled dry fruits are prone to the parasitic growth of a certain fungus that produces aflatoxin, which is detrimental to health. If the harvested nuts are properly dried and stored, the formation of aflatoxins can be prevented to a large extent. Nevertheless, this problem occurs particularly frequently with pistachios.


Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions


When you purchase pistachios, pay attention to whether as many as possible have already opened by themselves; this is a sign of quality.

Salted and roasted, well-packaged pistachios can be kept for about half a year. They are best stored in a cool place. When exposed to air they quickly absorb moisture and lose their crispness.

Unsalted pistachios become rancid more quickly, as well as losing their green colour.


Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation


Pistachios are marketed both shelled and unshelled. In Germany, salted and roasted pistachios are a popular snack. In addition, chopped unsalted kernels are used in baked goods, cakes and diverse sweet dishes.

Pistachios are used industrially to make confectioneries, for example to flavour nougat and Turkish delight. Green pistachio ice cream is also very popular.

Pistachios are used as well as a component of sausage, e.g. mortadella.

 

 

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