LOS ANGELES, Feb. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Going nuts for World Pistachio Day on February 26 th? Let's celebrate the day and reflect on the amazing history and modern day health benefits of this wonderful nut.
Did you know the word pistachio comes from a mix of Persian and Latin? Originating in western Asia, pistachios are one of the oldest flowering nut trees with evidence suggesting that humans were enjoying them as early as 7,000 B.C. Pistachios were first planted in California in the 1930s and it took nearly 10 years of careful research and breeding before the California pistachio was finally perfected. Today,California produces more than 550 million pounds of pistachios each year, making it a leading producer of pistachios worldwide.
Pistachios contain only 3-4 calories per nut – a reduced serving of 30 nuts adds up to about 100 calories. They also offer vital nutrients, including more than 30 different vitamins, minerals, and beneficial phytonutrients, making them a great guilt free snack.
Going Nuts for Pistachios Across the Globe
In India, pistachios are a major part of the population's diet and are used in a popular saffron pistachio drink. During Diwali, the Hindu New Year, and family occasions like weddings, pistachios are gifted as a symbol of love and good wishes. At one time, pistachios were considered a "hot food" and typically enjoyed during the cold winter months, but now the nut is enjoyed all year round. In Australia, during the hot summer months, many cafes near the beaches serve creamy Australian yogurt topped with shaved pistachios, as a refreshing post-swim snack.
Pistachios are a premium snack in Mexico, and enjoyed in social settings with friends or while watching soccer games. To give the snack some spice, many throw the pistachios in a bowl and add hot sauce. In France, where "snack" is not part of the vocabulary, pistachios are served with an "aperitif," a beverage served to stimulate the appetite before a late-afternoon meal.
In Korea, "Daeboreum" or "Full Moon" day is celebrated on February 24 of each lunar year. On this holiday, friends and families gather together to drive evil spirits away with the sounds made by cracking open pistachios. In Brazil, sharing pistachios can be considered good luck and seen as a way of showing endearment.
Pistachios are enjoyed around the world and in many different languages: die Pistazie in German,pistaches in French, 开心果in Mandarin Chinese, pista in Hindi, pistache in Spanish, 피스타치오 inKorean, םפיסטוקים in Hebrew, and pistache in Portuguese.
Celebrate the Nutritional Benefits of California Pistachios