Sunday, March 04, 2007

Weekend Herb Blogging #72

Kalyn is back hosting for this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging and it's almost a case of doing a double take as we've reached edition 72!

Once again I've got a farmers' market find - a somewhat common ingredient but in this form highly unusual. Only available fresh for a short period of time, low and behold, it's Pistachios!

pistachio

In this state, fresh pistachios should be treated like fresh berries and be kept refrigerated. They started appearing last week at the farmers' market - the season is short, no more than a month so if you see them, try them while you can.

pistachio

Nutritionally, fresh pistachios contain Vitamins A, B1 and C along with calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorous.

Surprisingly the outer shell or skin is quite soft - there's no need for a nutcracker. Rather than offering a recipe, I've decided to focus on the process of getting to the pistachio kernel itself because frankly, you should just enjoy them as is.

pistachio

From the top we have the fresh pistachio - the slightly moist skin peels away to remove the split harder casing that we normally see encasing the dried pistachio. This pries away quite easily to reveal the attractive pink hues of another skin. This is quite soft and damp and can be rubbed away to reveal the kernel - the purest of greens, it's flavour quite delicate, the nut itself quite soft, it's pistachio but not as you've had it before.

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14 comments:

  1. Guess I'd better hop on over to the Queen Vic this week to try and get my hands on these!

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  2. Very interesting. I had no idea what they were like fresh. Your blog just keeps getting better and better by the way!

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  3. Very cool post! I want to go to your farmer's market with you!!! Seems there are so many wonderful foods to find there.

    Paz

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  4. I nearly posted on this because they are all over my local supermarket at the moment as part of the fairtrade fortnight displays. I've always liked pistachios and they are very versatile - you can use them in both sweet and savoury dishes or simply munch away. But I can't get them fresh - ours tend to come dried and from Iran.

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  5. Ooh, I wish I could get my hands on some of those! Pink pistachios? They're just lovely.

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  6. It never even occurred to me that pistachios could be fresh! I wish I had some! How fortunate to live where they are available. Last week my husband and I purchased some odd, neon green muffins at the supermarket, guessing they were a pistachio flavor- they were but tasted like the artificial pistachio pudding mix.

    Willa

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  7. It is so interesting!!!

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  8. I have not seen it like that before, wow..that really open up my eyes, that last picture is great !!:)

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  9. Great pics! And interesting story. Thanks. :)

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  10. Hi Ellie - you might also find them this weekend at the Collingwood Farmers' Market

    Thanks Kalyn, that's so kind of you!

    Thanks Paz - there's a lot of farmers' market and I'll gladly be your guide.

    Hi Trig - my favourite use is in pistachio gelato, just heavenly. The majority of this crop ends up dried and I recently read that our pistachio crop will satisfy 75% of our demand - not bad.

    Hi Susan - they are very attractive, the thinner pink skin can be left on and usually is in the dried form.

    Hi Willa - I think as Australians we are very fortunate to have access to such a wide variety of produce - sometimes I think we do take it for granted.

    Thanks Gattina!

    Thanks MW!

    Thanks Helene!

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  11. Hey, that shows some real concern for educating people not only on recipes but also on the usage of certain fruits and the ways to preserve them. And of course, the images are great! Also liked the name of your website - cook almost anything! Would we all not like to be able to do that!!!

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  12. Thanks Pritya - it's a name worth striving for though totally impossible to achieve - but the fun is in the trying!

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  13. Picked some fresh Pistachios up today, was surprised to see the fleshy outer! very damp nut. Was wondering if they are like coffee beans whereby roasting brings out the fuller flavours. So would drying in the oven be enough for Pistachios?
    Over to you chef.

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  14. Hi Windthing - well, I think if you buy fresh pistachios you should probably just enjoy them in that state. You can dry roast them but then you might as well buy the dried nuts.

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