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Food

Pistachios: The King of Nuts in U.S. and Greece

Whenever you think of Mediterranean region, even if you haven’t been there yet, you imagine something like California. Such a diverse climate in both regions gives you the opportunity to explore the whole Earth in a ride. Indeed, California’s Sierra Nevada and Central Valley have a warm dry summer and cool wet winter, a Mediterranean climate. Coastal areas and the influence of ocean or sea give a wet cool breezy nature and saltiness to costal shrubs in both regions. The mountains are alike also, with heavy snowfalls in the high altitudes. Valley, deserts, and woodlands evoke in you the urge to inquire, explore, and enjoy.

The similar climates create conditions for cultivating the same plants. This is why specific regions of California as well as the Mediterranean are famous for pistachios. A delightful dry nut tree. Pistachia vera is not native to Greece but cultivation dates back to 18th century. Even if Greek production is not one of the highest, the brand respected. Iran, its country of origin, is first in production and the United States (mainly California) is second. Californian pistachios are also among the highest in quality. The famous pistachios from Aegina ‘fistiki Aeginis’, an island of Greece near Athens, is now characterized as a Protected Origin Product (POP) from European Union, which means that no one else can use this name like a brand name because of their special organoleptic characteristics and ultimate quality.

Pistachio fans supporting this beautiful and unique nut not only for its taste but also for its nutritional value. All dry nuts are an “explosion of nutrients” for humans. Imagine creating a new plant with nuts designed to be very nutritious – it would be like the beloved pistachio! In human beings 28 gr of pistachios (a handful), gives you vitamin B1, B6, ‘good fats’ for your blood and heart, cooper, manganese, fiber, and antioxidants … with only 160 calories! Adding them as a snack, or in your food is super easy:  raw in green salads, cooked in rice or in cookies and cakes! Choose the unsalted unprocessed pistachios for less calories, more nutrients, and earthier taste!

* The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.

Evropi-Sofia Dalampira is an Agriculturist-MSc Botany-Biology and PhD Candidate in Agricultural-Environmental Education and Science Communication.

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