Shelled Pistachios

Shelled Pistachios

Pistachio nuts are a popular snack for nut lovers and are also often used to make a variety of sweet and savory foods. In 1940, James W. Parkinson from Philadelphia introduced the pistachio ice cream to Americans, thus using the pistachio nuts for the first time in the American menu. Originally from the Mediterranean region, its history is dated back to as early as 6700 B.C. Ever since then it has been favorite of anyone who has tasted them. It is even rumored that because of her love of pistachios, the Queen of Sheba demanded that an entire region’s harvest of pistachios be set aside for her. It was brought to the United States in the late 1890s by a Syrian immigrant who became the nation’s first nut salesman. In 1976, American growers of pistachios harvested their first pistachio nuts. Today, millions of pounds of shelled pistachio nuts are grown annually in United States.

Harvesting and Uses of Pistachios

Pistachios are traditionally harvested by shaking the pistachio tree, which brings down the bulk of the matured nuts. The nuts must be hulled and dried within twenty-four hours to maintain its quality and unblemished appearance. Electric eye sorters are used to spot and remove blemished nuts to be dyed or shelled. The good quality nuts will be roasted or salted with their shell to be consumed as snacks, while the shelled pistachios will be sold commercially for use in confectionery, ice cream, candies, sausages, bakery goods and in flavoring. Pistachio’s unique texture and coloring makes it a popular addition to salads and appetizers. It is also often added as dressing in dishes. A variety of recipes using shelled pistachio nuts are available online, which you can enjoy without worrying about gaining extra calories.

Storing Shelled Pistachios

When you refer “shelled” pistachios, it means that the husked are removed (no shell), just like when you said “boned fish”, it means boneless. Making a shelled pistachio does reduce its shelf life. Unshelled nuts may be stored for three months to one year in the refrigerator, while shelled pistachios are good only up to 3 months. Make sure that your nuts are stored in an airtight container before storing them in the refrigerator, and remember not to store it in the freezer, since shelled pistachios are not good candidates to be frozen.


Fresh shelled pistachios have a pale-green nutmeat color; the greener the nutmeat, the better the flavor. As your cooking ingredient, it is best to choose the nuts that have not been dyed.
You can easily remove the thin edible paper covering the pistachio nut through blanching. Put the shelled pistachios in a container and blanch it by pouring boiling water in the container. Let it stand for at least two minutes. Afterwards, drain it and let it cool before peeling off the skin.
To keep your pistachios fresh and crunchy, it is important to keep them from absorbing moisture. If you want to restore the lost crispness of your nuts, just toast them in theĀ  oven for ten to fifteen minutes under 200 degrees Fahrenheit temperature.

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