Pistachios might not be grown in America if it weren’t for William Whitehouse, who in 1930, smuggled twenty pounds of pistachio seeds from the region outside Kerman, Persia (modern-day Iran). Whitehouse experimented with the seeds for years in Chico, northern California, before producing the first commercial crop in 1976. American pistachios are now cultivated in California, as well as Arizona and New Mexico. The nut is grown on a sort of Luther Burbank-esque fusion of trees. The tree is made from two cultivars grafted together in the middle. The fruit-producing top half of the tree is the Kernan variety brought back from Persia, and the bottom half of the plant, which produces the roots is a breed that grows well in California soil, but doesn’t produce good nuts. By grafting the two breeds together we get the best traits of each. A lesser known super-food, the pistachio nut contains no cholesterol and high levels of beneficial unsaturated fats, including omega-3 fatty acids. Pistachios also contain phytosterols, which lower cholesterol absorption, and many different antioxidants including lutein, beta-carotene, and gamma-Tocopherol. They have been shown to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
For best results, eat them! Store in a cool, dry place when not doing so.
Anthony Bazzini started his life in America working in a nut processing plant. Bazzini was just a boy, fresh from Northern Italy. Eventually, after numerous promotions, he saved up and bought the processing company in 1886, renaming it Bazzini. After being grown in California, the nuts are shipped to Allentown, PA, where the raw pistachios are salted and dry roasted. The process begins by soaking the raw nuts in brine. They are next dried, and then roasted to bring out their earthy and umami flavors, and of course to add a nice crunch.
Dry-roasted and salted rams head pistachio nuts. Bigger than the smaller variety and they look a bit like a ram’s head. These are grown in the U.S.A., and roasted and packed in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (more info)
Roasted and packed in
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