Originating from the Middle East, pistachios are one of the oldest flowering nut trees with evidence suggesting that humans were enjoying them as early as 7,000 B.C.
In China, the pistachio is known as the "happy nut" because it looks like it's smiling. Often given as a gift during the Chinese New Year, pistachios are a symbol of health, happiness and good fortune. While China leads the world in total pistachio consumption at 120 million pounds per year; Israel, with 7 million snackers consuming 9 million pounds, is the leader per capita for pistachio consumption.
In India, pistachios are a major part of the population's diet and are used in the popular saffron pistachio drink, Shree Guruji Kesar Pista Sharbat. The nut is gifted as a symbol of love and good wishes during the Hindu New Year, Diwali. Pistachios are considered a "hot food" and are believed to help keep the body warm and are typically enjoyed during the cold winter months.
Conversely, in Russia pistachios are enjoyed as a popular snack to accompany beer during the warm summer months.
In France, where "snack" is not part of the vocabulary, pistachios are served as part of the occasion known as aperitif, a light beverage and snack served before a meal to stimulate the appetite.
Australia celebrates the pistachio by serving creamy Australian yogurt with shaved pistachios in hot summer months.
In Mexico, the nuts are a premium snack, served in a variety of social settings. Instead of a snack, the French serve pistachios with an "aperitif," a beverage served to stimulate the appetite before a late-afternoon meal.
Pistachios are enjoyed around the world so celebrate with your fellow nut lovers in many different languages: die Pistazie in German, pistaches in French, pista in Hindi and pistache in Spanish.