According to Wikipedia, the greatest source of knowledge and wisdom we have (by the way, if you are ever writing an academic paper, “According to Wikipedia” is quite possibly the best opener you could use), the pistachio is broadly defined as a culinary nut, but it’s botanical designation is a nut-like drupe seed.  It is in the same family as the cashew.  Personally, I often find these stypes of scientific taxonomies to be a bit ridiculous, but just rememeber, these are human-made constructs, not objective, unchanging, or perfect ways of looking at and understanding the world.  One could just as easily categorize things in another equally valid way using different criteria.  But, hey, this is what we’ve got to work with apparently.

Anyway, time for more fun facts about pistachios.  Did you know they grow on trees?:

Iran is the #1 producer of pistachios in the world.  The U.S. is the #2 producer, but this is a bit misleading, since California produces 98% of all the pistachios in the U.S.  So really, California is the #2 producer of pistachios in the world.

The pistachio is also one of two nuts mentioned in the Bible.  Almonds being the other nut:

Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, do this: take some of the choice products of the land in your baggage, and carry them down as a gift for the man–some balm and some honey, gum, ladanum, pistachio nuts, and almonds.”

Genesis 43.11

Aren’t you glad you now know more than you ever wanted to about the pistachio?  You’re welcome.

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