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Nutritional Information

1 cup, pistachios

  • Calories 685
  • Calories from Fat 491.94
  • Amount%DV
  • Total Fat 54.66g84%
  • Saturated Fat 6.691g33%
  • Monounsaturated Fat 28.682g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 16.55g
  • Cholestreol 0mg0%
  • Sodium 1mg0%
  • Potassium 1261mg36%
  • Total Carbohydrate 34.4g11%
  • Dietary Fiber 12.7g51%
  • Sugars 9.4g
  • Protein 25.35g51%
  • Calcium 13mg1%
  • Iron 28mg156%
  • Vitamin A 14%
  • Vitamin C 10%

When In Season:

    Arizona: September (early) - November (late)
    New Mexico (Southern): September (early) - November (late)

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Pistachios on Wikipedia:

Pistacia vera Pistacia vera Kerman fruits ripening Salted roasted pistachio nut with shell Conservation status Least Concern (IUCN 3.1) Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae (unranked): Angiosperms (unranked): Eudicots (unranked): Rosids Order: Sapindales Family: Anacardiaceae Genus: Pistacia Species: P. vera Binomial name Pistacia vera L. This article is about the culinary nut and the tree that bears it. For other uses, see Pistachio (disambiguation).

The pistachio (Pistacia vera L., Anacardiaceae or sometimes Pistaciaceae) is a small tree native to some regions of Syria, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Greece, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Pakistan and western Afghanistan, that produces an important culinary nut. Pistacia vera often is confused with other species in the genus Pistacia that are also known as pistachio. These species can be distinguished from P. vera by their geographic distributions (in the wild) and their nuts. Their nuts are much smaller, have a strong flavor of turpentine, and have a shell that is not hard. The word pistachio is a loanword from Persian via Latin, and is a cognate to the Modern Persian word پسته Peste.



The modern pistachio nut P. vera was first cultivated in Western Asia. Its cultivation spread into the Mediterranean world by way of central Iran, where it has long been an important crop. The early 6th-Century manuscript De observatione ciborum (On the observance of foods) by Anthimus implies that pistachio nuts (``pistacia`` in vulgar Latin) were well known in Europe by late Roman times.

More recently pistachio has been cultivated commercially in the English speaking world, in Australia, New Mexico,[1] and California. The United States Department of Agriculture introduced the tree in California about 1904, but it was not promoted as a commercial crop until 1929.[1]


The bush grows up to 10 meters (30 ft) tall. It has deciduous pinnate leaves 10–20 centimeters (4-8 inches) long.

Pistachio is a desert plant, and is highly tolerant of saline soil. It has been reported to grow well when irrigated with water having 3,000-4,000 ppm of soluble salts.[1] Pistachio trees are fairly hardy in the right conditions, and can survive temperature ranges between −10°C (14°F) in winter to 40°C (104°F) in summer. They need a sunny position and well-drained soil. Pistachio trees do poorly in conditions of high humidity, and are susceptible to root rot in winter if they get too much water and the soil is not sufficiently free draining. Long hot summers are required for proper ripening of the fruit.

The plants are dioecious, with separate male and female trees. The flowers are apetalous and unisexual, and borne in panicles.

The fruit is a drupe, containing an elongated seed, which is the edible portion. The seed, commonly thought of as a nut, is a culinary nut, not a botanical nut. The fruit has a hard, whitish exterior shell. The seed has a mauvish skin and light green flesh, with a distinctive flavor. When the fruit ripens, the shell changes from green to an autumnal yellow/red and abruptly splits part way open (see photo). This is known as dehiscence, and happens with an audible pop. The splitting open is a trait that has been selected by humans. Commercial cultivars vary in how consistently they split open.

Each pistachio tree averages around 50 kg of seeds, or around 50,000, every two years.[2]


Commercially prepared pistachios in shells

The trees are planted in orchards, and take approximately seven to ten years to reach significant production. Production is alternate bearing or biennial bearing, meaning the harvest is heavier in alternate years. Peak production is reached at approximately 20 years. Trees are usually pruned to size to make the harvest easier. One male tree produces enough pollen for eight to twelve nut-bearing females. Harvesting in the United States is often accomplished by using shaking equipment to shake the nuts off the tree.

Pistachio nuts in and out of the shell

Pistachio trees are vulnerable to a wide variety of diseases (see List of pistachio diseases). Among these is infection by the fungus Botryosphaeria. This fungus causes panicle and shoot blight (i.e., kills flowers and young shoots), and can damage entire pistachio orchards.

In California almost all female pistachio trees are the cultivar ``Kerman``. A sprig from a mature female Kerman is grafted onto a one-year-old rootstock. Male pistachios may be a different variety.

Bulk container shipments of pistachio nuts are prone to self-heating and spontaneous combustion because of their high fat and low water content.[3]

Pistachio nut production in 2005 was 501 thousand metric tonnes[4]: Giant pistachio nut sculpture in Alamogordo, New Mexico Country Share of 2005 production[4] (tonnes)  Iran 190 000  United States 140 000  Turkey 60 000  Syria 60 000