The pistachio, Pistacia vera, a member of the cashew family, is a small tree originally from Central Asia and the Middle East. 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 colour, and abruptly splits part way open.
Commonly used in:
Sweetmeats and cookies, decorating pates terrines and cakes, pistachio butter, ice creams, chocolates, halva, sauces and salted and roasted as snacks. Roasted and crushed nuts are sprinkled over salads, ice cream and desserts
Pistachios contain mineral phosphorous, vitamin B6, vitamin E, high in antioxidant, carotenoids and reduce LDL ("bad") cholesterol and increase the good HDL cholesterol, fight inflammation, protect blood vessels and reduce the risk of heart disease, helps type 2 diabetes, healthy blood, nervous system, immune system, healthy skin and for the eyes.