Pistachios are native to Central Asia and Middle East and were brought to Europe by the Roman emperor Vitellius.
It is believed that pistachios had already been a common food source back in the Paleolithic age.
Due to their creamy texture and sweet, earthly flavour, pistachios are most popular when making pastries. The most popular pastries are ice-cream and baklava.
Pistachios are perfect with seasoned and savoury dishes. They go well with basil, rosemary, lavender, parsley, asparagus, escarole, artichokes, beetroot, rocket, goat cheese, mascarpone and Parmesan.
They also go well with meat dishes – particularly poultry and fish (salmon), and are also one of the ingredients found in Mortadella.
The largest producers of pistachios are Iran, USA and Turkey.
The pistachio tree can attain a height of up to 10 metres and thrives in desert areas with a soil rich with salt. An average-sized bush produces 50 kilograms of fruit every two years.
Botanically speaking, the pistachio belongs to the same family as the cashew and mango.
The 26th February is celebrated as the World Pistachio Day.
In Iran, pistachios are called “smiling nuts”, in China “happy nuts”, and also go by the name green almonds.