Pistachios: the food of royalty Pistachios have been associated with many powerful and aristocratic people over the years. Legend has it that the queen of Sheba loved eating pistachios so much that she declared them a royal food, prohibiting commoners and farmers from harvesting them for their own consumption. Pistachio has a long and interesting history. Native to the Middle East, pistachios are one of the oldest flowering nut trees.
Recent archaeological evidence in Turkey suggests that humans enjoyed them as early as 7,000 BC. Pistachios, which flourished in warm climates, spread from the Middle East to the Mediterranean and quickly became a precious delicacy among royalty, travelers and ordinary people, legend has it that the queen of Sheba decreed that pistachios were an exclusive food of royalty, even banning them Commoners cultivate the nut for personal use. Nebuchadnezzar, the ancient king of Babylon, had pistachios planted in his legendary hanging gardens. And in the first century AD, according to Muslim legend, pistachio was one of the foods brought to Earth by Adam.
Birthplace in the Holy Land In the history of pistachios there is royalty, perseverance and pride. Pistachios date back to the Holy Lands of the Middle East, where they grew wild in high desert regions. Legend has it that lovers would gather under the trees to listen to the pistachios open on full moon nights with the promise of good luck. Pistachios, a rare delicacy, were the favorites of the queen of Sheba, who required all the production of her land for her and her court.
The real nut was imported by American traders in the 1880s, mainly to the U.S. UU. Some 50 years later, pistachios became a popular snack and were introduced to vending machines. These imported nuts were dyed red to attract attention and cover up stains caused by outdated harvesting techniques.
In honor of National Pistachio Day, let's celebrate the versatility of this incredible nut with ten strange but surprising facts you might not have known about pistachio. Pistachios are thought to have been eaten as a snack for about 9,000 years, making pistachio one of the oldest surviving tree species in the world. Legend has it that the Queen of Sheba issued a royal decree stating that pistachios were forbidden to everyone except the royal family, and that any commoner found growing a pistachio should be punished for damaging the reputation of this precious nut. The commercial connections of the Roman Empire spread pistachios throughout the Mediterranean, where they found new fertile land to cultivate; for example, Sicily became a major producer of pistachios and, to this day, is still revered for the quality of its products.