Ok, pistachios are old. First archaeological findings date to the Paleolithic era and it is highly assumed that the first authentic historical data about edible nuts was, in fact, the pistachio. Thought to be from the Middle East, Persia (Iran) and western Asia (Pakistan and India), it is said that they used to grow wild in the high positioned desert regions. So you knew that it wouldn’t have taken too long for these little nuts to make their way to Italy (like all good things) and, of course, they did.
A Roman Governor, Lucius Vitellio is said to have introduced the Pistachio to Italy. It is said that Sicily’s introduction to these little bits of deliciousness probably happened afterward since the Campania region at that time represented the Roman countryside. As we know, Sicily and the pistachio got along well since now Sicily accounts for almost the entire industry in Italy. Throughout the Middle Ages, the Sicilians ate pistachios around Mount Etna and in the Bronte area. These little treats are still enjoyed today in Italy as well as other parts of the world, and most of Sicily’s pistachio production is now used in either pastries or in ice cream—but you know as well as I do, if you are in Italy and you happen to be edible you will most definitely be paired with pasta. This week’s recipe is a must-try—pistachios and cream—say hello to heaven.
Check out our recipe for Penne al Pistachhio and our wine pairings for this dish.
Donna Picciocchi, Editor