March 06, 2010

Products with Pistachio Nuts

Pistachio

I started this blog with the intention of posting recipes. From my short time experience in the world of Food blogs observed myself there is no scarcity of recipes.There are thousands of Food Blogs with professional and domestic recipes available from around the world. So I am trying to do some thing different. Defenitly your valuable comments will encourage me to do more.

So here is the new post :

Eversince I am working with sweets in Gulf ,Pistachio is an inevitable ingredient for most of the Kuwaiti sweets. As an Indian it is a new thing to me. Pistacio in different stage available in the Arab market such as Salted nut with shell and without shell, roasted nuts ,diced nuts etc. It is using as an ingredient for different Arab deserts such as Baklawa, Guraiba, Halwa, and different kinds of coffee sweets ( Hallu gawa) ,cakes. It is using as mix with dough, fillings for coffee sweets, garnish for deserts and can be used with vegetable salads by soaking for few hours.

Rest of the informations are collected from Wikipedia.com

Pistacia vera   Ripening Pistachio on Tree
Salted roasted pistachio nut with shell
Ground Pistachio
Diced Pistachio
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
(unranked):Angiosperms
(unranked):Eudicots
(unranked):Rosids
Order:Sapindales
Family:Anacardiaceae
Genus:Pistacia
Species:P. vera
Binomial name
Pistacia vera
L.
This article is about the culinary nut and the tree that bears it. For other uses, see Pistachio (disambiguation).

The pistachio (Pistacia vera L., Anacardiaceae or sometimes Pistaciaceae) is a small tree native to some regions of Syria, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Greece, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Pakistan and western Afghanistan, that produces an important culinary nut. Pistacia vera often is confused with other species in the genus Pistacia that are also known as pistachio. These species can be distinguished from P. vera by their geographic distributions (in the wild) and their nuts. Their nuts are much smaller, have a strong flavor of turpentine, and have a shell that is not hard. The word pistachio is a loanword from Persian via Latin, and is a cognate to the Modern Persian word پسته Peste.

History

The modern pistachio nut P. vera was first cultivated in Western Asia. Its cultivation spread into the Mediterranean world by way of central Iran, where it has long been an important crop. The early 6th-Century manuscript De observatione ciborum (On the observance of foods) by Anthimus implies that pistachio nuts ("pistacia" in vulgar Latin) were well known in Europe by late Roman times.

More recently pistachio has been cultivated commercially in the English speaking world, in Australia, New Mexico,[1] and California. The United States Department of Agriculture introduced the tree in California about 1904, but it was not promoted as a commercial crop until 1929.

Biology

The bush grows up to 10 meters (30 ft) tall. It has deciduous
pinnate
leaves 10–20 centimeters (4-8 inches) long.

Pistachio is a desert plant, and is highly tolerant of saline soil. It has been reported to grow well when irrigated with water having 3,000-4,000 ppm of soluble salts. Pistachio trees are fairly hardy in the right conditions, and can survive temperature ranges between −10°C (14°F) in winter to 40°C (104°F) in summer. They need a sunny position and well-drained soil. Pistachio trees do poorly in conditions of high humidity, and are susceptible to root rot in winter if they get too much water and the soil is not sufficiently free draining. Long hot summers are required for proper ripening of the fruit.

The plants are dioecious, with separate male and female trees. The flowers are apetalous and unisexual, and borne in panicles.

The fruit is a drupe, containing an elongated seed, which is the edible portion. The seed, commonly thought of as a nut, is a culinary nut, not a botanical nut. The fruit has a hard, whitish exterior shell. The seed has a mauvish skin and light green flesh, with a distinctive flavor. When the fruit ripens, the shell changes from green to an autumnal yellow/red and abruptly splits part way open (see photo). This is known as dehiscence, and happens with an audible pop. The splitting open is a trait that has been selected by humans.Commercial cultivars vary in how consistently they split open.

Each pistachio tree averages around 50 kg of seeds, or around 50,000, every two years.

Cultivation





Commercially prepared pistachios in shells

The trees are planted in orchards, and take approximately seven to ten years to reach significant production. Production is alternate bearing or biennial bearing, meaning the harvest is heavier in alternate years. Peak production is reached at approximately 20 years. Trees are usually pruned to size to make the harvest easier. One male tree produces enough pollen for eight to twelve nut-bearing females. Harvesting in the United States is often accomplished by using shaking equipment to shake the nuts off the tree.





Pistachio nuts in and out of the shell

Pistachio trees are vulnerable to a wide variety of diseases (see List of pistachio diseases). Among these is infection by the fungus
Botryosphaeria. This fungus causes panicle and shoot blight (i.e., kills flowers and young shoots), and can damage entire pistachio orchards.

In California almost all female pistachio trees are the cultivar "Kerman". A sprig from a mature female Kerman is grafted onto a one-year-old rootstock. Male pistachios may be a different variety.

Bulk container shipments of pistachio nuts are prone to self-heating and spontaneous combustion because of their high fat and low water content.

Pistachio nut production in 2005 was 501 thousand metric tonnes:





Giant pistachio nut sculpture in Alamogordo, New Mexico

Country
Share of 2005 production
(tonnes)
 Iran
190 000
 United States
140 000
 Turkey
60 000
 Syria
60 000
 China
34 000
 Greece
9 500
 Italy
2 400
 Uzbekistan
1 000
 Tunisia
800
 Pakistan
300
 Madagascar
160
 Kyrgyzstan
100
 Morocco
50
 Cyprus
15
 Mexico
7
 Mauritius
5

 

Pistachio nuts, dry roasted, w/o salt
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy2,391 kJ (571 kcal)
Carbohydrates27.65 g
Sugars7.81 g
Dietary fiber10.3 g
Fat45.97 g
Protein21.35 g
- lutein and zeaxanthin1205 μg
Thiamine (Vit. B1)0.84 mg (65%)
Riboflavin (Vit. B2)0.158 mg (11%)
Niacin (Vit. B3)1.425 mg (10%)
Pantothenic acid (B5)0.513 mg (10%)
Vitamin B61.274 mg (98%)
Folate (Vit. B9)50 μg (13%)
Vitamin C2.3 mg (4%)
Calcium110 mg (11%)
Iron4.2 mg (34%)
Magnesium120 mg (32%)
Phosphorus485 mg (69%)
Potassium1042 mg (22%)
Zinc2.3 mg (23%)
Manganese 1.275 mg
The kernels are often eaten whole, either fresh or roasted and salted, and are also used in ice cream and confections such as baklava or biscotti and cold cuts such as mortadella. Inhabitants of the American Midwest make pistachio salad, which includes fresh pistachios or pistachio pudding, cool whip, canned fruit and sometimes cottage cheese or marshmallows.[5] In July 2003, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first qualified health claim specific to nuts lowering the risk of heart disease: "Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces (42.5g) 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".

In research at Pennsylvania State University, pistachios in particular significantly reduced levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol) while increasing antioxidant levels in the serum of volunteers.[7] In rats, consumption of pistachios as 20% of daily caloric intake increased beneficial high-density lipoprotein (HDL cholesterol) without lowering LDL cholesterol, and while reducing LDL oxidation.

In December 2008, Dr. James Painter, a behavioral eating expert professor and chair of School of Family and Consumer Sciences at Eastern Illinois University, described the Pistachio Principle. The Pistachio Principle describes methods of "fooling" your body into eating less. One example used is that the act of de-shelling and eating pistachios one by one slows your consumption allowing you to feel full faster after having eaten less.





Pistachios in shell

The shell of the pistachio is naturally a beige color, but it is sometimes dyed red or green in commercial pistachios. Originally dye was applied by importers to hide stains on the shells caused when the nuts were picked by hand. Most pistachios are now picked by machine and the shells remain unstained, making dyeing unnecessary except to meet ingrained consumer expectations. Roasted pistachio nuts can be artificially turned red if they are marinated prior to roasting in a salt and strawberry marinade, or salt and citrus salts.

Like other members of the Anacardiaceae family (which includes poison ivy, sumac, mango, and cashew), pistachios contain urushiol, an irritant that can cause allergic reactions.

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