Pistachio – History of the green gold
Pistachio has become a symbol of Sicily all over the world, thanks also to the incomparable quality of Bronte Pistachio. It is used a lot in confectionery and, in general, in the kitchen. Sicilian pistachio products are extremely sought-after, because of their taste and their processing derive many products both sweet and salty: ice cream, cookies, pistachio creams, pistachio chocolate, pistachio pesto (you can find our recipe here!).
The pistachio is one of the oldest trees cultivated by man. It is the most “noble” cousin of lentisk and terebinth, native to ancient Persia. It seems that it was already cultivated here in prehistoric times, at least according to the treatise of the Greek sophist Ateneo di Naucrati, who talks about it in the “Banquet of the wise”. It is thought that it has been used in the Middle East for over 10 thousand years, but it is more likely to be 3 or 4 thousand years.
The pistachios arrived in Greece in the sixth century BC with Alexander the Great. A few centuries later, under the reign of Tiberius, they arrived in Italy and Spain but it was only in the mid-nineth century, with the Arab conquest of Sicily, the pistachio found a home on the island, in the Catania area at the foot of Mount Etna, in Bronte, still renowned for its pistachios. The plant grows in hilly areas and bears well the summer drought and winter frost. The fruit is a drupe: you consume the fruit, called pistachio as well as the tree. Hardly exceeds 8 meters in height, but can live up to three hundred years. It produces its fruit every two years and the year that agronomists call “discharge” provides more vigor to the following season.
Bronte and its amazing Pistachios
The extraordinary union between the plant and the lava soil on the slopes of Etna, which is continuously fertilized by volcanic ashes, gives rise to a fruit that, from the point of view of taste and aroma, exceeds as quality the remaining world production. One of the main differences between Bronte Pistachio and other types of Pistachio is the chlorophyll content which is superior, and it is to this that its intense green color is due. Bronte Pistachio is sweet, delicate, aromatic. In addition, the flavor is much stronger, thanks to the characteristics of the soil, rich in mineral substances also due to the frequent lava flows of the volcano.