Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

Pistachios are the seeds of a native of arid western Asia and the Middle East, Pistacia vera, a relative of the cashew and the mango. Along with almonds, they have been found at the sites of Middle Eastern settlements dating to 7000 BCE. A close relative, Pistacia lentiscus, provides the aromatic gum called mastic. Pistachios first became a prominent nut in America in the 1880s, thanks to their popularity among immigrants in New York City. Iran, Turkey, and California are the major producers today.