While Turkey and Iran are the largest producers of pistachios, U.S. pistachios are predominately grown in California. This climate is ideal for the growth of consistent quality nuts. Pistachios are primarily used in snack mixes or as snacks themselves. Other uses for pistachios include ingredients for bakery goods and ice creams. Pistachios offer good nutrition as well as good taste. As with all nuts, Pistachios are a good source of the daily vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body needs. One ounce of pistachios contains 3.1 grams of fiber-more than many recognizable high fiber sources such as raisins, potatoes, wheat bread, and celery. Also, because pistachios are a vegetable product, they are cholesterol - free.
Pistachios are sorted into 4 grades. These grades measure quality in terms of stain tolerance, foreign material and damage to the nutmeat. Stain tolerance is the level of discoloration that noticeably contrasts with the predominate color of the shell.
|Colossal||The pistachio size in which the average number of whole nuts per ounce is less than 18.|
|Extra Large||Average yield is 20 or less.|
|Large||Average yield is between 21-25 whole nuts per ounce.|
|Medium||Average yield is between 26-30 whole nuts per ounce.|
|Small||Average yield is 31 or more whole nuts per ounce.|
|80% Whole Kernels||Eighty percent or more by weight shall be whole kernels.|
|40% Whole and Broken Kernels||Forty percent or more by weight shall be whole kernels.|
|Large Pieces||Portions of kernels of which not more than 10% will remain on a 24/64 inch round opening. Not more than 25% of the total sample shall be whole kernels.|
|Small Pieces||Portions of kernels of which not more than 10% will remain on a 16/64 inch round opening. Not more than 3% of the total sample shall be whole kernels|