Why are pistachio nuts so expensive?
No matter where you buy them, pistachios are three or four times more expensive than other nuts, making them almost a luxury.
Pistachio nuts are so expensive because the trees on which they grow on reach full-bearing around 15-20 years after being planted. Then, pistachio trees can only produce about 22kg of nuts each year. Furthermore, pistachios are sorted by hand and not by machine. Finally, pistachio trees can only grow in cool winters and hot summers, meaning that there’s only a few locations in the world where the trees can grow. Add any importing prices and tax, and the cost of pistachios quickly adds up.
How to roast pistachios
Pre-roasted pistachios taste fantastic, but have you ever thought about roasting them fresh? Doing so allows you to prepare according to your own liking; shorter roasting times will produce a mild flavour whereas longer times will result in stronger flavours. It’ll also fill your home with a warm and fragrant aroma that will entice visitors every time they drop by. The good news is that roasting pistachios is simple and something everyone can do themselves.
A little bit of effort goes a long way. A good tip to keep in mind when it comes to roasting is to choose pistachios with slightly opened shells. The reason being that tightly closed shells indicate immature or unripe nuts which are unpleasant to eat – not to mention hard to open!
Start by preheating your oven to 180°C and then take your pistachios and spread them across a baking tray.
From there, bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until the nuts begin to turn a golden brown colour. Be sure to check throughout the cooking process and shake your pan to prevent burning.
Once cooked, remove pistachios from the hot tray and leave on a plate to cool.
Then, place a bunch of the cooked nuts on a kitchen towel and draw the towel up around the nuts to create a loose bundle. Hold this with your hands and rub together vigorously to remove the papery shells.
It’s that simple.
Storing roasted pistachios
Rest assured that your roasted pistachios will make a fantastic snack or cooking ingredient that can be added to a wide range of meals. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks. Alternatively, feel free to pop them in the freezer and enjoy these great treats for up to three months.
Creative ways to incorporate pistachios in your meals
Besides being a convenient, healthy and tasty snack, pistachios can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. If you’re not ready yet to indulge in a handful of these nuts on their own, there’s other ways that you can add pistachios to your diet and improve your overall health.
You’re probably aware of pistachio-flavoured ice cream, but did you know that you can even try sprinkling pistachio nuts over your favourite oven-bake fish or using them to make pesto sauce to act as an alternative to the more expensive pine nuts. It can even be used as a pizza topping or a salad garnish. Their rich green or purple colour can be added to various desserts and dishes, and they bring a crunchy texture to any dessert.