ingredient information
Pistachios Nuts
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The pistachio (Pistacia vera L., Anacardiaceae or sometimes Pistaciaceae) is a small tree native to mountainous regions of Syria, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Turkey and western Afghanistan, that produces an important culinary nut. Pistacia vera often is confused with other species in the genus Pistacia that are also known as pistachio. These species can be distinguished from P. vera by their geographic distributions (in the wild) and their nuts. Their nuts are much smaller, have a strong flavor of turpentine, and have a shell that is not hard. The word pistachio is a loanword from Persian via Latin, and is a cognate to the Modern Persian word ???? Peste. The kernels are often eaten whole, either fresh or roasted and salted, and are also used in ice cream and confections such as baklava and cold cuts such as mortadella. Inhabitants of the American Midwest make pistachio salad, which includes fresh pistachios or pistachio pudding, cool whip, canned fruit and sometimes cottage cheese or marshmallows.[5] In July 2003, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first qualified health claim specific to nuts lowering the risk of heart disease: "Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces (42.5g) per day of most nuts, such as pistachios, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease".[6] In research at Pennsylvania State University, pistachios in particular significantly reduced levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol) while increasing antioxidant levels in the serum of volunteers.[7] In rats, consumption of pistachios as 20% of daily caloric intake increased beneficial high-density lipoprotein (HDL cholesterol) without lowering LDL cholesterol, and while reducing LDL oxidation.[8] In December 2008, Dr. James Painter, a behavioral eating expert professor and chair of School of Family and Consumer Sciences at Eastern Illinois University, described the Pistachio Principle. The Pistachio Principle describes methods of "fooling" your body into eating less. One example used is that the act of de-shelling and eating pistachios one by one slows your consumption allowing you to feel full faster after having eaten less.[9] Pistachios in shell Baklava The shell of the pistachio is naturally a beige color, but it is sometimes dyed red or green in commercial pistachios. Originally dye was applied by importers to hide stains on the shells caused when the nuts were picked by hand. Most pistachios are now picked by machine and the shells remain unstained, making dyeing unnecessary except to meet ingrained consumer expectations. Roasted pistachio nuts can be artificially turned red if they are marinated prior to roasting in a salt and strawberry marinade, or salt and citrus salts. Pistachio has also been a flavor for ice cream, notably including spumoni.