Wednesday, February 26, 2014

National Pistachio Day!

On February 26th, a good way to celebrate National Pistachio Day is by eating as many as you can find. They are so yummy!  Even though removing them from their husks is a tedious and painstaking procedure, I am glad that pistachios are sold with their shells intact.  I personally need something deliberate to slow down my reckless consumption of these tasty little nuts.  I've been known to behave similarly around an unsupervised jar of maraschino cherries.

Pistachios grow on trees, and it takes a very long time to get that first crop.  A pistachio tree matures in seven to ten years.  The nuts are harvested in September by a machine that shakes the trees.  The open hull of a pistachio is unique.  The nut is ripe when the hull splits open.  People often refer to it as the "smiling nut".  This information comes as an appreciable relief.  For the longest time, I thought they were talking about me.

In the mid-1970's, all pistachios sold in the United States were imported from the Middle East.  The traditional growing and harvesting methods used by pistachio farmers in countries such as Iran, Syria, and Greece often left blemishes on the outer shell, which American importers would mask with a red vegetable dye. Currently, about 96 percent of the pistachios sold in this country are grown in California. These nuts are harvested without blemishes, which makes that yucky red dye even more disgusting and a really dumb idea.  Much like radioactive Cheez Doodle powder, I always wipe it on my pants!

Pistachios are nutritious sources of fiber and vegetable protein.  They are loaded with copper, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium.  These are some of the most delicious elements from the Periodic Table.  Besides, they have antioxidants, which makes everybody deliriously happy for some organic reason.

In preparation for National Pistachio Day, I have hidden the bag I purchased on Monday and will enjoy them this evening after both of my children go to sleep. Otherwise, there will be no pistachios left for deserving American mothers like myself.

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