Pistachio nut

Pistachio nut

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From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

Throughout the Middle East you will find street vendors with snacks of salted pistachio nuts. Greek and Lebanese delicatessens in other countries stock them, and often the unsalted nuts as well.

The pistachio needs a hot climate for the small nuts to ripen properly. When ripe, the shells crack open spontaneously. The nuts are usually salted in the shell. The small, pale green kernels have a unique flavour which is equally appropriate in sweet and savoury dishes. For example, pistachio nuts are often added to a terrine or to pork sausages or tossed in butter to garnish a pilaf, while pistachio ice cream is very popular in France and Italy, and chopped pistachios may be included in the filling for Baklava. The favourite confections of the Middle East, halva and Turkish delight, often include pistachios, especially the luxury versions. Chopped or sliced, shelled pistachios add an attractive touch if used to decorate desserts, ices and cakes.

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