Of all the different nuts , I have always liked pistachios the most . In downtown Manhattan , close to my office , there was a fruit and nut store that displayed burlap bags full of pistachios . The pistachios came in three sizes … Extra large , Mammoth and Colossal and they were all delicious and natural colored. (None of those red colored imported pistachios that used to be the norm forty years ago. Those were dyed red to hide the blemishes due to antiquated harvesting procedures and to compete with the more attractively colored candies in vending machines ). The Colossal ones really were HUGE , though I can’t say that they tasted any different from the smaller ones.
One of the pleasures of eating pistachios is that one has to shell them . As in the case of peanuts in the shell , there is something very satisfying in splitting the shells to get at the nuts . I have never bought (unshelled) pistachio nut meats and I can’t understand why any one would want to; it would be very easy to go overboard eating them and they would not be any fun. I must admit , however , that it very frustrating to get the occasional pistachio whose shell is not split and which has to be cracked with brute force . Trying to crack it between one’s teeth can be an expensive mistake and yet it feels like too much trouble to do it with a hammer or a mortar and pestle.At the same time , I don’t want to waste even a single one …
Until recently , I’d only had the plain ( salted) pistachios . Then , a couple of months ago, I happened to buy a bag of pistachios at Costco and found them to be subtly different and much , much better. I looked closely at the bag and found that they were Salt and Black Pepper pistachios from Everybody’s Nuts, a company based in Lost Hills, California . The pepper adds another dimension to the taste without altering it drastically.
I’ve since found that Everybody’s Nuts also has pistachios with two other flavors , Sweet Chilli and Garlic & Onion. Other companies offer even more flavors such as Jalapeno , Habanero , Rosemary Garlic , Sweet and Spicy Chipotle , Chili Lemon and Cilantro-Lime . I’m in two minds about these different flavors . It seems to me that they would mask the essential taste and character of the pistachios . When you eat a Jalapeno pistachio , aren’t you tasting just the jalapeño ? And what is the difference, tastewise, between a Jalapeno pistachio and a Jalapeno almond ( available at Trader Joe’s)? On the other hand , I only tried the Salt and Black Pepper pistachios by mistake and wound up loving them . Perhaps I should give one of these other flavors a try…
We had stayed away for pistachios for many years under the impression that they were high in calories and not so good in nutritive value . We only started eating them again recently after reading that ” Pistachio nuts are one of the healthiest nuts to eat. They are rich in phytosterols, antioxidants, unsaturated fat, carotenoids, vitamins and minerals, and fiber. Pistachios are one of the lowest-calorie nuts, with more nuts per serving than any other. They work to lubricate the intestines and keep the liver and kidneys healthy.They also help to lower cholesterol.”
If anyone out there knows of a similar article about cashews , I’d be grateful if you could let me know . ( LOL)
P.S . The Salt and Pepper pistachios are a really good buy at Costco : $ 16.99 for a three pound bag which is at least 3 dollars cheaper than any place else.