Different Products of Pistachios
Pistachios can be consumed in many different ways and shapes.
They are all delicious and rich in many nutrients but different in shape. You can choose the type of pistachio which is suitable for your application.
Pistachios are sold in many different shapes, such as, fresh pistachios, in shell or shelled pistachios, pistachio kernels, peeled pistachio kernels or peeled kernel, diced or chopped pistachio kernels, Kaal pistachio kernels, pistachio powder, pistachio paste and pistachio oil. They are different in shape, taste and application.
In this article, we are going to tell you more about different types of pistachios and which one to choose. Pistachios come in different shapes but first, let’s see what they actually are.
What do we have here:
- What are pistachios?
- What do pistachios look like?
- What do pistachios taste like?
- Different products of pistachios
- In-shell pistachios
- Pistachio kernels
- Kaal pistachios
- Pistachio granola (chopped pistachios)
- Slivered pistachio kernels
- Pistachio powder
- Pistachio paste
What are pistachios?
Pistachio trees are one of the oldest flowering nut trees which have been described as being native to Iran, Central Asia, and Western Asia. Myth has it that the Queen of Sheba declared pistachios as an exclusively royal food, going so far as to forbid peasants from producing the nut for their personal use!
These trees, known as “Pistacia Vera”, bear pistachio nut which ripen in fruit packs of various nuts, similar to grapes. Botanically, they’re drupes, the same division as peaches, almonds, cherries, apricots, and plums.
These delicious nuts contain a lot of healthy fats and are an excellent source of fiber, protein, and antioxidants. They also carry many crucial nutrients and are suitable for weight loss and fitness, so much that they are called skinny nuts! People have been consuming pistachio since 7,000 BC. Nowadays, they’re prevalent in many recipes, such as ice cream and desserts.
Pistachio fruits have an external skin with a red, pink and yellow color, companies remove their skins to produce in shell pistachios, salted or raw. Some companies shell them to provide pistachio kernels. Some others even peel the internal skin of the kernel to provide green pistachio kernels, powders, etc.
What do pistachios Taste Like?
Pistachios have a delicate flavor with a nourishing soft crunch. If you take high quality pistachios, roast and salt them, you can create the crunchy roasted, salty, unique nutty flavor for your in-Shell Pistachios. Pistachios have a light, buttery, salty nut flavor with a nice, meaty crunch. They have blonde shells with light to dark green color nutmeat.
Different varieties and products of pistachios?
Pistachios have many varieties with different sizes and shapes. Most of these varieties are cultivated in Iran (read the article “Different types of Iranian Pistachios and Products of Pistachios“). Some of the most popular pistachio types are (The percentage of each type varies each year due to specific climate conditions of that year, but as an average we provided you with the approximate numbers):
- Fandoghi (Round Pistachio): 40% of pistachio orchards
- Kaleh-Ghouchi (Jumbo Pistachio): 20% of pistachio orchards
- Ahmad-Aghaei (Long Pistachio): 12% pistachio orchards
- Akbari (Super Long Pistachio): 15% of pistachio orchards
Each pistachio variety comes in many products based on their different applications. Such as:
In shell pistachios:
Normal pistachio kernels
Peeled pistachio kernels
Diced pistachio kernels:
Normal pistachio granola/ diced
Green peeled pistachio granola,
Slivered pistachio kernels
Normal pistachio powder
Green pistachio kernel powder
In this article, we are going to tell you more about these products and their applications, so that you can choose the ones that are more compatible with your needs. Are you ready? Let’s go!
Fresh pistachios are the fruits of pistachio tree with their skin and shells on and unroasted. They are sweet and juicy and good for eating out of bag.
Applications: Eating as a fruit in the evenings, in salads, smoothies and milk shakes.
In shell pistachios
In shell pistachios are the pistachio nuts after peeling off their external red skin. People may roast them with shells on or eat them raw.
As mentioned before, pistachios have different varieties and each cultivar is classified in three groups:
- Normally Opened Pistachios
- Mechanically Opened Pistachios
- Closed Shell Pistachios
And all of these types are available in the shape of inshell or in shell pistachios, they may taste the same, but have different applications.
Some companies roast pistachios to improve the taste and richness of the nuts. Pistachios are generally roasted to improve their aroma, taste, and crunchy texture. Roasting is described as cooking using dry heat, which would cook the food equally on all sides. Most nuts are roasted without their shell, but pistachios are often roasted in-shell.
During roasting, nuts lose some moisture. Hence, a roasted nut weighs lighter than a raw one. That describes why the fat content per ounce is somewhat higher in roasted nuts.
Applications: They are great for snacking and eating as a protein bar before gym. You can also use them in your different desserts, meals and mixed nuts. There are no limitations.
Some companies shell the pistachios and provide their kernels in bulk or other sizes for their customers. This has its own advantages, because pistachio shells include about 50 – 60% of the in shell pistachios’ weight. So, if you buy pistachios in their shells, you might end up with less kernels than the shelled ones.
Pistachio Kernel is collected from both closed-shell and naturally open pistachios but differs in price. Naturally open pistachio’s kernels are more expensive because of the costly and time-consuming process. There are also all kinds of Kernels from green to ripe.
Applications: Shelled pistachios can be used as a snack too, but they are mostly used in bakery, pastry and as an ingredient in different desserts and ice creams. They can also be used in chocolate factories, sausage and ham industries, energy bars, restaurants and hotels.
Normal pistachio kernels are divided in three different product categories:
1- Normal pistachio kernels
Pistachio kernels are delicious and colorful meats of pistachios with excellent quality. You can add these kernels to your different recipes. You will love these savory pistachio kernels as they are an excellent source of protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Applications: These kernels are easy to use as a snack. You can also add them to cakes, granolas, nut bars, pies, tarts, breads and cookies. This will bring a rich crunchy taste to your meals and desserts. This type is also proper for confectionaries, mainly where pistachios will be used as it is, without blending or powdering, for example, Baklava or Turkish delights.
2- Kaal pistachio kernels
These types of pistachio kernel are normally produced through harvesting pistachios when they are still raw (Kaal) which means before the pistachios become completely ripe.
These types of pistachios kernels are usually more expensive than other types of kernels, because of their costly process.
Unripe or Kaal Pistachio Kernels are very useful in the food industry due to their brilliant green color and delicious taste.
Applications: This kind of pistachio kernel is very useful in bakeries, decorating foods and desserts, production of pistachio powder, as well as the production of pistachio butter. It is also being peeled for producing the best grade of green peeled pistachio. You can find out more about it below:
3- Green peeled pistachio kernels
These types of pistachios usually come from shelling and peeling the closed shell pistachios or the unripe pistachios. They are actually obtained from peeling the Kaal pistachio kernels that you read about above.
The peeled kernels are separated according to the color of the kernel to Green, So, Green Peeled kernels can be classified into 5 types, which can be differentiate from the percentage of green color in them, for instance dark green, green, greenish, yellow and light yellow. Some companies grade these colors from S to D and some from A to E so it is important to mind this difference. In the below section we grade each color from A to E:
A (Supreme) – (intense dark green)
B (dark green)
C (bright green)
D (very bright green)
Applications: Green Peeled Pistachio Kernels are perceived as a luxury food ingredient, which is used in many industries such as pastries, ice cream, sausages, chocolate, and ham. These green pistachio kernels are very delightful and can be used for desserts and Turkish baklavas.
Diced pistachio kernels
To ease your way to cook, some companies provide chopped pistachio kernels that can be a real time saver for you. They are also provided in two different categories:
1- Normal pistachio granola/diced
These pistachio granolas are obtained from normal pistachio kernels, they are less crunchy than the whole pistachio kernels, but easier to use if you are trying to cook.
Applications: they can help you make a pistachio pastry, pistachio ice cream, cookies or cakes, some people even use them as an ingredient for sausages and ham.
2- Green Chopped pistachio kernels
These types of pistachios are usually produced from shelling, peeling and chopping the Kaal pistachios and some of them are obtained from the closed shell pistachios.
Applications: They are great for using in cookies, cakes and desserts to provide a great crunchy texture with a nutty pistachio flavor.
Slivered pistachio kernels
Slivered pistachios are pistachio kernels divided into small strips (slivers), much more efficient than chopped pistachio kernels, which enables you to boost every dish with a sprinkling of delicious pistachio magic! The greener the slivered pistachios and more colorful they are, the more beautiful visually they become.
Applications: They are an essential ingredient in savory dishes such as rice, stews, puddings, cakes and desserts. When it comes to cooking, slivered pistachios are useful in both recipe and topping. This delicious sliced nut has a lot of great pairings that you can light things up with them.
You can use slivered pistachios in cereal, sweets, nut mixes, or as topping for rice dishes and even ice-cream. Get creative!
Pistachio powder is made from pistachio kernels, whether peeled, Kaal or normal pistachio kernels. They are all delicious, but the ones that are made from unripe pistachios have a more pretty greenish hue. Pistachio powders, after all, are produced in two different shapes:
1- Normal pistachio powder
The powder pistachio is made from fresh green kernels of pistachio. A loving, green pistachio powder, which can be ideal for the bakery and desserts, gym lovers will enjoy the excellent source of proteins, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals of the savory pistachio powder.
Applications: They have a light nutty flavor in the form of powder. So, they are less crunchy than other shapes of kernels and can be used as a great ornament for desserts and cookies.
2- Green pistachio kernel powder
Green pistachio powders are basically produced from raw and unripe pistachio kernels that are harvested before fully ripen to provide the best taste, color and quality.
Applications: They can be very useful in the food industry due to their brilliant green color and yummy taste. You can use this beautiful green powder as a topping for your desserts. With a little sprinkle of this powder, everything will look delicious!
Pistachio paste comes from roasted milled pistachio kernels which can be sweetened or without added sugar. These delicious pastes are a processed product which must contain 100% pistachios.
Applications: The unique flavor and features of pistachio paste have made it accessible to be used in a diversity of applications in different industries such as culinary, chocolate, confectionery, and the dairy industry.
You should also know that pistachio paste is different from pistachio butter. Pistachio butter tastes like a more compact, concentrated version of pistachio itself and is a lavish, creamy spread, which may contain sweeteners.
But pistachio paste is made from 100% natural pistachios; it is less oily than pistachio butter and contains no salts, sugar or other ingredients. Pistachio paste is a smooth, creamy mixture that is made through a multi-step process, which makes it more fluid, ultra-smooth, and mixable than pistachio butter.
Uses: Pistachio paste is an organic nut paste with all-natural sweeteners, which is ideal for a delicious evening treat and can be also used as a spread or in pastries. It is most commonly used and very popular for its application in flavoring baked goods, ice cream, gelato, jams, pastries, cakes or in gourmet cooking. The natural freshness is brought out more in the Pistachio Paste, which gives a rich pistachio flavor to every meal and dessert.
Wrapping it up!
Pistachio is a wonderful Nut, which is not only delicious and rich in flavor but also high in nutrition like fiber, vitamins, and minerals. If you are wondering how to include pistachios in your everyday life, you should use their products such as butter, paste, and powder instead of just snacking on the shelled ones.
That’s it, guys. You can find out more about pistachios on our other blog posts on A Complete Guide to Pistachio Industry, Everything about Pistachios and Comprehensive Guide on Kal (Unripe, Early Picked, Boza) Pistachios.