10 Pistachio Fun Facts in Honor of National Pistachio Day

Monday, February 25th, 2019
National Pistachio Day

February 26th recognizes all things pistachio. It’s National Pistachio Day! It is a day that has been set aside for all pistachio lovers to eat their favorite nut all day long. For those who do not eat pistachios, buy some and give them to someone who does. Crack them open and eat them up or enjoy them in ice cream or your favorite pistachio dessert!

The Facts:

1. The Italians have always loved pistachios. In the first century A.D. Emperor Vitellius introduced Rome to the pistachio. Apicius, Rome’s 5th-century A.D. recipe book includes pistachios. And have you tried Pistachio Gelato?!

2. What’s in a name? That which we call a pistachio is known as the “smiling nut” in Iran and the “happy nut” in China. They’re also known as the “green almond.”

3. Better than a caveman diet. The nuts are also the original prehistoric snack! One of the oldest flowering nut trees, humans have eaten pistachio nuts for at least 9,000 years. Plus, pistachios are one of the only two nuts mentioned in the Bible (Genesis 43:11).

4. Where’s the green come from? Pistachios are the “colorful” nut, owing their green and purple hue to antioxidants.

5. Abide by the “Pistachio Principle.” Research suggests that as one of the only in-shell snack nuts, pistachios may help slow consumption and the empty shells offer a visual cue, potentially reducing calorie intake. A preliminary behavioral eating study suggests that in-shell snackers ate 41 percent fewer calories than those who snacked on shelled nuts. This effect is known as “The Pistachio Principle.”

6. Chock full of…nutrition. Pistachios are a good source of protein, fiber, magnesium, thiamin, and phosphorus. They’re an excellent source of vitamin B6, copper, and manganese.

7. Surprise relationships. Among its “kissing cousins”: pistachios are related to the mango and the spice sumac.

8. A queen-sized craving. Perhaps the original royal nut, the Queen of Sheba loved pistachios. In fact, she demanded that the entire region’s pistachio harvest be set aside for her.

9. Here’s to your heart. Scientific evidence suggests that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pistachios, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.

10. Look out for inferior nuts. All pistachio shells are naturally beige in color. Some companies dye nuts red or green if nuts are inferior or for consumer demand.

How to observe National Pistachio Day –

  • Have a pistachio. Have a bunch of pistachios.
  • Try a pistachio recipe or two. Checkout the Heart of the Desert Pinterest page for over 40 recipe ideas.
  • Use #NationalPistachioDay to post on social media.

Now start snacking on that healthy, happy, green nut that’s oh-so-tasty and has been bringing people pleasure for over 9000 years! Happy National Pistachio Day!

Heart of the Desert is a working pistachio ranch and vineyard with four retail establishments in New Mexico. They are best known for their farm fresh pistachios and Award-Winning New Mexico wines. Each store offers wine and pistachio tastings. They offer worldwide shipping and produce attractive gourmet baskets that make great corporate and family gifts. The main store, on the ranch in Alamogordo, offers farm tours that showcases how pistachios are grown and processed as well as a stunning Tuscany themed patio that overlooks the groves and is available for weddings, private parties or enjoying a relaxing glass of wine.