Pistachios, Pistacia vera, are a low bushy tree, which is typical for mountainous areas of western Afghanistan, Iran and Turkmenistan. The pistachio is one of the oldest nuts known in the history of mankind. The first findings were discovered on the territory of Syria and Iran, then in Greece and other European countries.
Today it is grown in Greece, Spain, Italy, Iran, USA, Turkey, Asia, Australia. Approximately half of the world's supply of the market is supplied by Turkey.
The tree reaches a height of 30 ft (10 meters). This is a desert plant that is distinguished by its high tolerance to saline soils. It handles temperature fluctuations too. The fruit is a firm whitish kernel that contains an edible extended kernel. The kernel has mauve outer skin and light green flesh.
The pistachio is piled in clusters on the tree. When the fruit ripens, the shell of the kernel bursts with a characteristic sound. The pistachio is harvested at night, because during the day the tree releases essential oils that produce dizziness. Every two years, the tree gives an average 50 pounds of nuts.
Composition of pistachio
According to many experts, pistachio nut is the most caloric nut. Distinguished by its high content of vitamins, amino acids and minerals. Nuts contain 55-60% fat, including prevailing unsaturated fatty acids and 18-25% protein. The pistachio nut is rich in vitamin E – a powerful natural antioxidant.
The pistachio is a very good source of phosphorus and vitamin B1. The content of vitamin B6 in pistachios is the same as in bovine liver. The pistachio belongs to the products with the highest antioxidant value. These are unique nuts possessing large amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin - substances that enhance vision.
Selection and storage of pistachios
Buy only well packaged nuts whose packaging has a clearly mentioned manufacturer and expiration date. Like other nuts, pistachio requires proper storage.
Because of the high fat content in the kernels, any overheating is a prerequisite for their development of rancidity, and fungi. Keep pistachios in a cool, well-ventilated place, away from dealing directly with sunlight and moisture. Some cooks recommend that even after unpacking the pistachios, they are stored in the refrigerator.
Pistachios in cooking
In culinary uses, pistachios are used for more than 2500 years. In the ancient East, it is considered a symbol of wealth and success. Today, throughout the world, dishes pistachios are considered elite. In Stockholm, for example, Nobel Prize laureates have been regaled with ice cream with pistachios.
The pistachio is used for the preparation of traditional dishes and unusual flavour combinations. It is used for making pastries, ice cream and other food products.
Add these to chocolates and candies. Pistachio enriches the taste of chicken and pork, duck, and cream soups. Pistachios in powdered form are added to cakes, cookies, cream and meat dishes. In elite restaurants, champagne or fresh dessert wines are offered with roasted pistachios in lemon juice.
Benefits of Pistachios
Due to its high nutritional value, pistachio nut is recommended for recovery of waste organisms. Nuts are useful in severe mental and physical exertion, because they remove fatigue and improve self-esteem. Pistachio has an extremely favorable influence on the brain.
They improve the cardiovascular system, battles heart palpitations, reduce your predispositionj to heart disease. Regular consumption of pistachios improves the liver. Pistachio helps to cure jaundice, removes gastric and hepatic colic, cures anaemia and enhances potency. Useful in diseases of the respiratory system.
Universal belief is that cholesterol levels are maintained in keeping with diets or medications. Experimental studies have shown that pistachio is seven times more effective than traditional methods.
The pistachio is very useful for people with diabetes, according to a recent study. When consumed with carb foods, they first slow the rate of absorption of carbohydrates, which may result in lower levels of blood glucose.
Another study showed that consumption of 2/5 cup (100 g) of pistachios a day lowers blood pressure in a state of stress. Reduction of blood pressure is associated with reduced risk of stroke or cardiovascular disease. Daily consumption of pistachios can reduce chronic inflammation, which in turn reduces the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.
The pistachio is extremely helpful when dieting. It has the highest content of fibre of all kernels. Regular consumption of fibre helps weight loss and controlling blood sugar. Fibre on the other hand helps to reduce cholesterol levels and maintain the proper functioning of the intestine.