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Pistachio importers would dye the nuts red (and sometimes green) in order to hide the imperfections. There was no sneaking around when eating those, the red stained fingers were always a dead giveaway. Thank goodness we don’t have deal with Red Dye #40 pistachios anymore!
We know that these nuts have great nutrient levels in them so right now I want to focus on, “Did you know!” because learning stuff like this always amazes me. I hope it does you too! So, did you know that… Pistachios are related to the mango fruit? Now I know why I am “nuts” about mangos. (haha)
Pistachios grow in heavy grape-like clusters surrounded by a fleshy hull. When they ripen in late summer or early autumn, the pistachio kernel fills inside the shell so vigorously that it splits the shell.
Pistachio trees are wind-pollinated, with one male tree producing enough pollen for 25 nut-bearing females. Female trees produce their first nuts at about age five and can bear fruit for up to 200 years. For harvesting the trees they require about 1,000 hours of temperatures at 45 degrees F or below to provide a good production.
Bob and I are always about recycling and reusing, so I did a little research on what a person could do with the empty shells. Here are just a few ways. They are great for starting fires in your fireplace. Collect them in decorative basket and when you are ready to start the fire, just grab a handful. Start them with a little crumpled paper, just as you would kindling. Another great way to use them is to line the bottom of pots containing houseplants, for drainage and retention of soil for up to two years.
Now, on to the recipe. I created this recipe as a component to be used with the Spiced Pistachio Brigadeiro Truffles and I was just going to list the recipe along with that post but after witnessing Bob sneak away about 1/2 of them before I even go a chance to use them for the truffles, I knew this would be a great snack to have on hand. They are sweet, savory and have a hint of heat to them. A perfect combination if you ask me… or heck, ask Bob, he ate most of them. (hehe)
yields 1 cup