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Pistacia vera (Pistachio Nut)

Pimperneut, Groenamandel [Afrikaans]

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid II > Order: Sapindales > Family: Anacardiaceae

Pistacia vera (Pistachio Nut) Pistacia vera (Pistachio Nut)
   

Pistacia vera grows wild in the Central Asian steppes of NE Iran, N Afganistan, Uzbekistan, Tadzhikistan, Kirgizia, S Turkmenia and S Kazakhstan. Male and female flowers are borne on different plants (dioecious). The nut is contained within a shell that splits open slightly, with an audible pop, when it is ripe. The nut itself has a greenish hue, which is unusual. Domesticated plants bear larger nuts than wild forms. It is a highly drought resistant plant and nowadays, besides being cultivated within its native distribution, it is also grown extensively in Iran, S Turkey, California and Syria.

Pistachio nuts are an excellent source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and thiamin. Fat content stands at 54% by weight and is made up mainly of monounsaturated fats.

Uses

  • Pistachio nuts are a popular snack, raw or roasted. \
  • Nuts are used in various recipes for puddings, cakes, sweets, meats, stuffing, pÔtÚs and sauces. The Middle Eastern dessert called baklava has pistachios as its main ingredient along with honey and walnuts.

Publications

  • Anon. 2002. Encyclopedia of Foods. A Guide to Healthy Nutrition. Academic Press, San Diego, California. 

  • McGee, H. 1991 (first published 1984). On Food and Cooking. The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. Harper Collins, London. 

  • Zohary, D. & Hopf, M. 1993. Domestication of plants in the old World - The origin and spread of cultivated plants in West Asia, Europe, and the Nile Valley. Clarendon Press, Oxford.

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