The English name pistachio is derived from “Pisteh”, which is a Persian name. (Iranian or Persian?) Also known as the green almond. Pistachio nuts are intertwined with Iranian culture and are actually present in all facets of Iranian life.
Pistachio nuts get a mention in all Iranian literature, stories, beliefs, traditions and rituals such as Norooz (New Iranian Year) and Yalda festival are even consumed in weddings and funerals. Iranian poets and literary figures have also referred to pistachio nuts in their works. For Iranians no festivities and feasts can be held without pistachio nuts as well as other nuts like walnuts, almond, raisin, hazelnuts, etc. They celebrate Iranian New Year by eating pistachios. If they cook special dishes, they decorate them with pistachios. Even treats such as ‘Gaz’ contain pistachios. Pistachio nuts are of strategic importance among Iranian producers of agro products.
There is no doubt that Iranian pistachio has the best taste and maximum nutrition. The special climate of Kerman province is the only best place for growing pistachios.
Iranian pistachios offer various advantages that set them apart from other types of pistachio in the world. Higher meat content offers better value for money. Iranian pistachios have a world-famous taste that is unrivalled.
This taste advantage is enhanced by roasting Iranian pistachios at higher temperatures, made possible by higher unsaturated oil content. This high temperature roasting eliminates any bacterial contamination, which may be present in raw product.
Iran exports 150,000 to 200,000 tons of pistachios annually. This is while the global demand for Iranian pistachios can even reach a few million tons. Presently Iran accounts for more than 50 percent of global pistachio production. Iran is expected to earn $1.1 billion in pistachio until the end of Iranian calendar year, which ends on March 20, 2013. Currently, pistachios grow in over 360,000 hectares of land in Iran and Kerman province procures 77 percent of the country’s pistachio needs. The province is essentially viewed as the most important region in the world for growing pistachios. Other areas of the country wherein pistachios are grown include Yazd, Khorasan, Fars, Semnan, Sistan and Baluchestan, Qazvin, Isfahan and Qom.
Iranian pistachios include many local name and each name represent a region shape or quality type. However in term of shapes there are in four main groups. Long , Jumbo, Round and Kernel Pistachio and green skinned pistachios.
Written by Reza Samadanian