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THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

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TODAY IN FOOD: It’s National Pistachio Day

We’re the last to make light of Fundamentalist Islam, but we do have better pistachios for it. Prior to the overthrow of the Shah of Iran in 1979, there was no pistachio industry in the U.S. A series of political events ensued, beginning with the fundamentalist Islamic revolution of the Ayatollah Khomeini that ousted Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. It was followed by the Iran Hostage Crisis, in which the U.S. Embassy in Tehran was stormed and 66 hostages were taken. This led to a U.S. trade embargo against Iran. Since a majority of the pistachios eaten by Americans were imported from Iran, California farmers saw the opportunity to plant the crop. A better pistachio resulted, since the U.S. has the benefit of more modern farming methods. When there are delays in processing the harvested nuts, the white shells begin to stain and blemish, which is why pistachios from the Middle East were often dyed a cover-up red. (Later, pistachios were dyed red to stand out in vending machines; today, some pistachios are still dyed red for marketing purposes.)   Pistachio NutsPerfect pistachios from Santa Barbara Pistachio Company.
Now that you have some historical perspective, go nuts and celebrate. Our favorite pistachios come from Santa Barbara Pistachio Company. They have regular pistachios plus wonderful flavors (Crushed Garlic, Hickory Smoked, Red Hot Habañero Lemon Zing and more) plus gift assortments in case your valentine doesn’t like chocolate. Ready about more of our favorite gourmet salty snacks in the Snacks Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.

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