Happy National Pistachio Day!
There are 33 people in the U.S. listed on whitepages.com with the last name ‘Pistachio’
The Pistachio nut is a member of the Cashew family, which also includes sumac, mango and poison ivy.
Pistachios have been cultivated for over 7,000 years and are mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible. They are popular in Greece, and are used there in many pastries.
Legend has it that the Queen of Sheba decreed pistachios an exclusively royal food, going so far as to forbid commoners from growing the nut for personal use. Nebuchadnezzar, the ancient king of Babylon, had pistachio trees planted in his fabled hanging gardens.
In the first century A.D., the Emperor Vitellius debuted this prized nut in his capital city of Rome.
According to Muslim legend, the pistachio nut was one of the foods brought to Earth by Adam.
Pistachios are one of only two nuts mentioned in the Bible (Genesis 43:11) the other being almonds.
Pistachios are also called the ‘green almond’ and are known as the ‘smiling nut’ in Iran and the ‘happy nut’ in China.
In the U.S. pistachios were dyed red to disguise imperfections in the shells and to make the nuts stand out in vending machines.
Pistachio Ice Cream was supposedly created by James W. Parkinson in the 1840s.
The Moghul Emperor, Akbar the Great, hosted lavish banquets befitting his royal status. The chickens to be killed for the banquet were fed pistachio nuts for 6 to 8 weeks before the banquet, to add a delicious flavor to the chicken meat.
1 cup chopped pistachios
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
salt and pepper to taste
2 large skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch strips
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C). Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Mix together pistachios and bread crumbs in a shallow bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together Dijon mustard, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper until smooth. Dip chicken into Dijon mixture to coat, then coat with bread crumbs. Place onto prepared baking sheet.
Place into preheated oven and turn the oven down to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bake until the chicken is no longer pink and the pistachio coating is golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Want to read more? A good place to start is www.pistachios.org