Pistachios grow in small, bushy trees. Many years ago the pistachio was cultivated in Asia, after which it spread to the Mediterranean, Australia and California.
Pistachio trees bear walnut-like fruits which dry once they ripen. High-calorie nuts are obtained from the pit, for which it is cultivated. They are rich in vitamins and minerals and are widely used in cooking.
Pistachio nuts are eaten whole. They are eaten fresh, as well as roasted, usually salted. Some people prefer them caramelized. They are put in baklava and cake stuffing. Pistachios can be found to garnish ice creams as well. They are rarely put into salted dishes as a seasoning but rather as decoration.
Rich in proteins, pistachios contain no cholesterol and trans-fats. Because of this they are a good substitute for animal products, especially for vegetarians and people who want to lose excess weight.
For cooking, these nuts have been used for more than 2500 years. While in the ancient East they were seen as a symbol of wealth and success, today everything they are put in is considered top-notch.
Pistachios are put in various foods offered at social events. For example, in Stockholm, Nobel prize laureates are treated with delicious ice cream, garnished with pistachios.
Besides in the usual types of dishes, pistachios are also used in foods with unusual taste combinations. For example, in the most expensive restaurants, they serve a specialty of pistachios, strawberries and cheese, served in combination with champagne or light dessert wines and nuts. In this case, the pistachios are soaked in lemon juice.
Aside from all of this, pistachios are added to recipes for chicken cream soups, stuffed duck, chicken, even pig. Ground, they are added to meat dishes, as well as to cookies, creams and cakes.
Cream with Pistachios
Ingredients: 4 1/5 cups milk, 1 cup dairy cream, 4 tablespoons corn starch, 2 tablespoons water, 4-5 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons orange flower water, 1 tsp powdered mastic gum, 1/2 cup pistachios.
Preparation: Mix all the ingredients in a pot. Put it on the stove and boil on low heat. The resulting cream has a thin consistency. Distribute it into bowls, champagne glasses or trays.
Once slightly cooled, but not completely, sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Once fully cooled, place in the refrigerator for several hours to set.