An Unofficial National Day to Observe the Benefits of the Pistachio
February 26th marks the day on which many individuals will celebrate the Pistachio. Known as National Pistachio Day, February 26th is certainly not an officially recognized national holiday but, to the lovers of pistachios, has become a day on which to celebrate with food and tradition in honor of this historical nut.
Originating in the Mediterranean and now grown in California, pistachio trees have a long history which extends across the World. Pistachio nuts, grown from a tree which can take up to 20 years to reach full production, can be found within the fruit bearing leaves and are noted to rarely be the color red as we traditionally see in our grocery and food markets today. In fact, pistachios, when red, are noted to have been dyed during processing. For pure, beautiful and all natural pistachio nuts, choose those which are green to nutty colored.
During the observance of National Pistachio Day, it is believed that individuals who stand in and among pistachio trees, and hear the ripening sound of popping fruits and leaves, will have prosperity, good luck and fortune. Unfortunately, with the peak time for harvest of the pistachio occuring in September, those who stand in and among the pistachio orchards, in February, may find great difficulty in hearing the sound in the cool temperatures of the evening. As a result, the National Pistachio Day celebrations may soon be moved to September, during peak harvest, to allow for the most benefit to those who wish to follow the tradition of good fortune.
In addition to playing in and around pistachio trees, observers of the National Pistachio Day are often found indulging in the pistachio nut. Eaten whole, the pistachio nut can be eaten fresh or placed into sweetened desserts offering not only added flavor but also improving dietary health.
For health gurus, pistachios provide an excellent source of lutein and are low in saturated fat and cholesterol. As a result, many dieticians recommend consuming pistachios as part of a dietary program. However, as a consumer, storing pistachios at home should be done with extreme caution. As the pistachio is self combustible, when heated or placed in warm areas, is it not uncommon to hear the sound of popping pistachios at the most irregular times. Store pistachios in a cool and airy location and they will provide many months of flavor additions to your favorite meals.