Pistachio, Pistacia vera, is a deciduous tree in the family Anacardiaceae grown for its edible seeds (nuts). Pistachio is a small to medium sized tree with a branching main stem (trunk) and a spreading growth habit.

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The leaves of the pistachio are pinnate and composed of five individual oval leaflets. Male and female inflorescences are produced on different trees (dioeceous).The flowers are small, brownish-green in color and lack petals. They are produced on panicles, each possessing several hundred flowers. The fruit of the tree is a drupe with an oblong kernel covered with a thin, bony shell. The shell splits along its long axes when mature. Pistachio trees can reach up to 20 ft (65.6 ft) in the wild but are generally smaller under cultivation.

The pistachio nut is a dry fruit of small size, lengthy, with a hard, thin and clear brown shell. The edible part is yellowish green and tender.

They are used in foodstuff products and also in cosmetics, for which there is a great demand.

The pistachio nut is a fruit of great category and is as much appreciated for its consumption in fresh as for the industry.

Pistachios are more and more consumed salted or roasted, and with shell as a snack. The seed in raw is used as an ingredient for many dishes, in confectionery and cooked pork meats or ice creams. A very sweet oil is also obtained from pistachios. They are even applied as an ingredient for some medicines with digestive action and in cosmetics.

It is a very nutritious dry fruit of great fat content, between 30.5 and 51,6g for 100g of edible fresh weight.

The pistachio, whose edible part is the seed or almond, covered by a hard, thin, clear brown shell named pericarp. It is obtained from the so called pistachio or mastic tree. The almond is elongated, slightly triangular, 2-3cm long, tender, oily and with a pale green or yellow colour.

The pistachio nuts with shell can be preserved frozen for several months, although they may loose aroma and if they are peeled, it is recommended to keep them in the fridge, although the time of preservation is smaller in this case.

There are some varieties or types of pistachio that are distinguished by the size and colour of the almond, having greater or smaller acceptance.

The tree of the pistachio does not bear fruit until the fifth year and it does not reach a good performance until the tenth. For this reason, in Spain this fruit is usually imported and the prices of the market are high. In the Mediterranean coast, they ripen in September but we can find them in the market all the year round.


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