The term pistachios refers to the seeds of the fruit of the homonymous tree. Inside the light colored shell there is in fact the real pistachio, characterized by a purple skin and the typical bright green color. It is a very popular type of nuts: in Italy it is one of the cornerstones of Sicilian production and is consumed both alone as a snack (in the case of shelled pistachios, toasted and sometimes also with the addition of salt or caramel, but even those still with shells) and as an ingredient in numerous recipes, both sweet and savory.
Use in the kitchen and recipes with pistachios
The full and distinctive flavor of pistachios means that they are the protagonists of a large part of Sicilian cuisine: the famous Bronte pistachio is grown on the slopes of Etna and brings together the colors and taste of the Mediterranean. In general, pistachios are used both raw and processed: just think of the pistachio pesto for pasta and fillings, the grain to be put on ice cream (and how not to name the pistachio ice cream itself, one of the most loved flavors in the world!) Or to be used to enrich cakes and doughs (such as pistachio pastry), to that used to flavor cured meats such as mortadella. As for the products obtained from pistachios, the examples are numerous and always easier to find in every supermarket as well as in the shops of typical products:
- pistachio cream, one of the most popular spreads, both for a simple snack and to stuff panettone and pandoro;
- the creamy and light green pistachio liqueur;
- pistachio yogurt, also characterized by a pale green color.
Like all dried fruit, pistachios are also very nutritious and caloric: 100 grams are worth 562 kcal. They do not contain gluten, although it is always good to check for the presence of the barred wheat ear on the package, a symbol of foods suitable for consumption by celiacs.
Their low glycemic index makes them a good snack for those suffering from diabetes and, since they do not contain cholesterol, they are also suitable for those who need to monitor their levels.