Pistachio butter and Pistachio paste are luxury pistachio products made from pistachio kernels. Some people haven’t heard of them or don’t have much experience with them. We thought it was important for our readers to dedicate an entire article to this topic. Although they are both pistachio-based products, pistachio butter vs pistachio paste have a few slight differences that may affect your decision of choosing one over the other. In this post, we discuss those differences.
Pistachio Butter vs Pistachio Paste Appearance
Before we delve into pistachio butter vs pistachio paste, we need to understand their appearance. Pistachio paste and butter are both made from freshly shelled pistachios. The finished products look different because the paste is further refined longer to make it smoother.
Pistachio paste has a homogenous, smooth, fluid consistency (texture) traversed with pistachio oil. If you dip a spoon in pistachio paste and hold it in the air, you will see the liquid flow down. And if you keep it in that position a bit longer, it starts to dribble down. You can compare pistachio paste to honey. They are both homogenous and runny.
Pistachio butter has a thick consistency, much like peanut or almond butter. Pistachio butter is one step after pistachio powder in the grinding process. If you run the grinder until after your pistachios have formed a fine powder, you have made pistachio butter.
What is Pistachio Paste vs Butter Made of?
Pistachio paste is 100% pure pistachio, while pistachio butter is partly supplemented with other additives such as almond, oil, and cardamom. Pistachio paste tastes natural because it’s all pistachio, whether green kernel or shelled kernel. The natural green or brown color of pistachio paste is a selling point. You don’t want to taint it with food colorings.
Some manufacturers add salt or sugar to their pistachio paste. In that case, the ingredients appear on the label.
How to Make Pistachio Butter vs Pistachio Paste?
You can make pistachio paste and pistachio butter at home by grinding pistachio kernels in a food processor. For industrial purposes, they are made in high-powered blenders capable of handling large quantities.
Pistachio kernels are blanched in warm water for 5 minutes and rubbed in dish towels to lose their skins. Pistachio kernels without skin have a bright green color which will also make pistachio paste or butter look green.
Pistachio kernels are then ground in a blender to create a powder. Some people may add a few drops of water occasionally just to make the process go.
A few more fast twirls will turn the pistachio powder into a consistency suitable for pistachio butter. If that is what you want, you can just stop the process and make your pistachio butter by adding a few more ingredients such as sugar, cardamom, oil, etc.
But to make pistachio paste you need to give it a few more rounds for it to get a smoother texture.
What Do Pistachio Butter and Paste Taste Like?
Pistachio butter tastes like a more compact, concentrated version of pistachio itself with a hint of other additives. It is a lavish, creamy spread, much like peanut butter. Usually, pistachio butter has the old fashion peanut butter consistency.
Some manufacturers make pistachio cream which consists of 40% pistachio butter mixed with honey and added sugar.
Pistachio paste is made from 100% natural pistachios with the original nutty taste. Brown pistachio paste even retains the earthly taste of pistachios.
How to Use Pistachio Paste vs Butter?
The pistachio butter can be eaten as a spread on meals or as a dip. They are both delicious in their own ways.
Pistachio paste is very popular for its application in flavoring baked goods, ice cream, gelato, jams, pastries, and cakes. It is also used in gourmet cooking. The natural freshness is brought out more in the pistachio paste. It gives a rich pistachio flavor to every meal and dessert.
If you are using pistachio paste for flavoring ice cream, buttercream, or pastry filling, you should always find the best one. Many so-called pistachio butters or pastes are not 100% pure pistachio. They are manufactured from bitter almond paste combined with green food coloring. If you use them, they will make your desserts have the perfect pistachio hue but lack that nutty pistachio taste.
How Long Does Pistachio Paste and Butter Last?
Pistachio paste and butter are made to be used fresh with your desserts, cooked, and drinks. As they are made with no additives, pistachio paste and butter are better to be consumed within the “use by” date or expiration date. The “use by” date determines the peaks of freshness. They start to lose their potency after this date.
However, pistachio paste and butter can last for a maximum of 24 months if stored in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight.
This article explained the similarities and differences between pistachio paste vs pistachio butter. They are versatile pistachio ingredients made from pistachio kernels in the same process. But they need different amounts of work. They also have different applications and uses.
Pistachio paste is usually used in flavoring baked goods, gelato, ice cream, confections, pastries, or in gourmet cooking. Pistachio butter is commonly used as a spread over food or as a dip.
Do you have any experience with pistachio paste and butter? What did you use them for? How did it go?
Write about your experience in the comment section below?