February 26th Is National Pistachio Day

February 26th, 2012 by Craig Mullins

If there’s one thing about Pistachio nuts I think we can all agree on, it’s that it’s nearly impossible to have just one.

National Pistachio Day falls on the 26th day of February every year; however the origin of the holiday seems to be a little more difficult to pin down. And considering the pistachio nut is harvested in September, having a special day for it in February seems a bit odd. If you know why National Pistachio Day is in February and not September, please let us know!

Fun Facts About The Pistachio:

– Pistachios trees are native to Western Asia and the Middle East.
– In the Middle East, pistachio nuts are called the “smiling nut” and in China they are referred to as the “happy nut”.
– Although the pistachio can only be traced back to the 1850s in America, the tree has been a part of the Middle East since Biblical times.
– Pistachio trees can live for centuries; the country of Iran claims to have a pistachio tree that is more than 700-years-old.
– The pistachio tree is a small bushy one that produces bunches of fruit similar to grapes; the pistachio nut is the seed to that fruit.
– A pistachio tree stands about 20-feet tall and thrives in areas with poor soil and high heat.
– They cannot endure excessive moisture or humidity, thus required little to no water to survive.
– It takes 7 to 10 years for a pistachio tree to mature and produces its first nuts.
– The hull of the pistachio nut is unique in that it splits open when ripe.
– California is the largest producer of pistachios in the United States.
– Pistachio nuts are harvested by large shaking machines in September; it takes less than a minute per tree.
– The red pistachio nuts you see in stores are colored with red dye.
– Pistachios have more antioxidants per serving than green tea.
– The pistachio is a great source of copper, fiber, manganese, protein, and Vitamin B6.
– Pistachio nuts can be found in many things including baklava, biscotti, butter, chocolate, ice cream, pudding, and a variety of baked goods like bread and cupcakes.

Happy National Pistachio Day!!! Crack open a bag and eat some green nuts!

Do you have a favorite pistachio recipe? We would love to hear about it!!

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