The American pistachio industry narrates the story of “single pistachio seed”. In the 19th century the seed was brought to the US from Persia by a botanist. The pistachio made its way to California in 1854 and in 1875 trees were imported and planted in Sonoma, California. Due to California’s warm climate, the trees took root and
became a part of the state’s crop production.
American Pistachios Today
Now America is the world’s leading grower, an up-fromnothing success story. According to statistics, in 2022, the U.S. was responsible for 67% of worldwide pistachio production, making America the global leader in pistachio production. Today California produces 99 percent of the nation’s crop, with small contributions from Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada. America is estimated to harvest over 80 million pounds of pistachios, meaning that solely California supplies the world with just over 79 million pounds of pistachios annually. Iran places second by volume, with
Syria and Turkey far behind.
Cold storage (32°F to 40°F) at 55% to 70% humidity is best for pistachios. Stack cases on pallets and keep sealed until ready to use. Keep nuts away from foods with strong odors. Maintain FIFO (first in, first out) procedures and your pistachios should remain in good condition for up to one year.
A Comparison between US, Iran and Turkey’s pistachios If you put American pistachios side by side with pistachios from Iran and Turkey, you would see some differences.
American-grown pistachios are, on average, larger and plumper than Iranian or Turkish pistachios. Also they are more uniform in size because of strict grading standards. American pistachios are mechanically harvested and never touch the ground. They undergo an initial drying within 24 hours. In contrast, pistachios from Iran and other Mediterranean countries are typically hand-harvested and dried outdoors, therefore there is a higher chance of contamination. Moreover, American pistachios contain less fat and fewer calories per ounce than Iranian or Turkish varieties but supply the same amount of fiber and protein. Also, since they are of Iranian descent pistachios, they are so robust and nutritious. As for flavor, American pistachios have a buttery, sweet taste, with none of the acidic flavor that bleaching can impart.