Pistachio nuts

The pistachio has been a favourite snack food for centuries in the Middle East, which is hardly surprising because the pretty green and pink nuts are a delicacy with salt or unsalted (of course you need to buy the latter if you are using them in a sweet recipe) and the shell of a ripened nut is slightly ajar, and so can easily be prised apart with the fingers.

Large scale pistachio planting in California has done nothing to bring down the price of this prized nut, which is native to the Eastern Mediterranean.

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