Why are pistachios sold in their shells?

You might suspect that would make skinless pistachios cheaper. But if you look at the prices charged by retailers, shelled pistachios tend to be more than twice as expensive per ounce as those with shells, so all you save is the trouble of extracting them and paying a substantial fee for that luxury. In addition, pistachios, unlike most other nuts, are most often sold in shell. To roast and salt nuts such as walnuts or cashews, producers must remove the shell.

. In fact, they've been bred for that because it means they can be salted and roasted while they're still inside the shells. This saves producers money and explains why shelled pistachios are more expensive. Pistachios are grown on trees and have natural cinnamon-colored shells.

The kernels inside the shells are a greenish tan color. They get their greenish color from chlorophyll. Pistachios are usually sold with the shells partially open and the kernels poking out, making it easier to separate the kernels from their shells. In reality, the shell opens on its own during the growth process.

As the pistachio grows, it expands until its shell opens. Sometimes pistachio shells don't open on their own. This is often caused by immature grains that don't grow properly. Usually, these nuts should be discarded.

In many countries, such as Israel and Russia, hearing the pistachio crunch was considered a very good omen. And in the Middle East specifically, they considered sound to be a harbinger of a happy relationship. So naturally, couples would gather under pistachio trees, waiting for those nuts to assure them that their relationship would be successful. So, if the grains are small or even if the pistachios aren't open, you won't know them among the many other pistachios.

In a darker shade, pistachios that are not properly processed or harvested are not fit for human consumption. Shelled pistachios are available at many stores, including Trader Joe's and Costco here in California. As for why to sell them in shell, perhaps it is because they are sold by weight, and a pound of pistachios in shell will have significantly less nuts than a pound without them, making intact pistachios more profitable for producers. Pistachios are the seeds of the fruit of a small Persian tree, pistachia vera, and have been cultivated for at least 3000 years, widely in Central Asia, the Mediterranean region and now in California.

You may remember that during the hostage crisis in Iran, when the U. While ready-to-eat pistachios are handy, part of the fun of eating pistachios is opening the pistachio shells. In the case of Iranian pistachios, there are more than five types of pistachio kernels available on the market. Aflatoxin, a chemical that can cause cancerous mold, has been found in some abused pistachios and has caused disease outbreaks in some parts of the world.

These improved facilities mean that fewer stains and stains appear on pistachios, so there is less need to dye them, which is one of the reasons why the practice is disappearing. Since a pistachio tree takes several years to bear fruit, produces well only every two years, and each tree produces far fewer nuts than other varieties, pistachios tend to be more expensive than other nuts. They say that the queen even took her country's entire pistachio harvest for herself and her royal court. I once saw, in Publix, a large number of pistachios without shells (in a kind of plastic jar), near the raisins, if that helps.

We would be lucky to find a sample of pistachio in which the grain represents 50 percent of the weight of the nut. In general, when you buy shelled pistachios, you also pay for the weight of the shells. Shelled pistachios tend to be less expensive per unit than skinless pistachios, but skinless pistachios are cost-effective. Therefore, we can multiply a person's hourly wage by the fraction of an hour it takes to peel a cup of pistachios to determine their actual cost per ready-to-eat cup when buying the variety with the shell.


Matthew Baron
Matthew Baron

Short For A Man.

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