currently, Iran tops the list with the high-quality production of 472,097 metric tonnes. Iranian pistachios offer various advantages that set them apart from competitors. Greater choice is offered to customers through four main commercial varieties. Additionally, higher meat content offers better value for money. Iranian pistachios have a world-famous taste that is unrivaled. This taste advantage is enhanced by roasting Iranian pistachios at higher temperatures, made possible by higher unsaturated oil content. This high-temperature roasting eliminates any bacterial contamination, which may be present in raw products. The following list details the five major advantages of Iranian pistachios:
Variety There are many different varieties (cultivars) of Iranian pistachios. The following four go into international trade: Fandoghi (40% of pistachio orchards), Kalleh-Ghouchi (20%), Akbari (15%) and Ahmad-Aghaei (12%), with the last two on the rise. Each variety has its own different properties and flavor.
Higher Kernel to In-Shell Ratio Iranian pistachios has a high kernel to in-shell ratio, meaning you are buying a higher amount of the edible kernels for the same amount of pistachios you buy.
Roastability Due to their higher unsaturated oil content, Iranian pistachios have the capacity to be roasted at between 160 to 180°C (hot air stream temperature). Good roasting brings out the unique flavor of the nut while eliminating any live bacteria from the roasted product. It is obvious that lower roasting temperatures of around 120°C recommended by some suppliers will not achieve the two above benefits.
it has been a long time, consumers around the world have shown a preference for the taste of Iranian pistachios. All four commercial varieties of Iranian pistachios each have a rich, unique, and distinctive flavor. In this regard, Iranian pistachios offer a combination of unparalleled flavors which gives the consumer choice and variety.
Tradability A large number of producers, buyers, exporters, and importers of Iranian pistachios makes for conditions of perfect competition in the market. As a result, fairer trading opportunities present themselves to those engaged in buying and selling Iranian pistachios. In the absence of conditions of perfect competition, the market may face price-fixing and market manipulation by influential players.
Different Kinds of Persian Pistachios
Persian pistachio differs in various aspects. Many of them use their local name and each name represents a region, shape, or quality type.
To name a few:
• ● Long,
• ● Jumbo,
• ● Round,
• ● Kernel Pistachios,
• ● Green skinned pistachios,
• ● Roasted and salted,
• ● Roasted and unsalted.
Persian Long Pistachio (Akbari Pistachio): Akbari Pistachio has a very unique taste and texture. Akbari Long pistachio fruit is large and almond shape. Long Pistachio (Akbari Pistachio) is the most expensive type of pistachio.
Persian Jumbo Pistachio (Kallehghouchi): This type of Persian pistachio is also known as kalleh ghochi, which is the Jumbo type. The easiest way for identifying this type is the shape of pistachios is rather fat and (in comparing with round) is rather long; this is why it is called as Jumbo.
Persian Round pistachios (Fandoghi): Persian round pistachios are the most widely available pistachio variety. Fandoghi is round shaped and has the lowest shape index.
Kernel Pistachios: This type of pistachio has totally green color which is used in food industry. Commonly use to color and flavor the ice cream, chocolate or cake.
Different grades of kernel pistachios are also divided into different categories.
(example: AAA: ~95% whole + 5% split)
Why Are Persian Pistachios So Expensive?
Pistachios have a much higher price than other nuts such as almonds, cashews, or peanuts. One of the main reasons is that pistachio trees take more than a decade to start bearing fruits after being planted.
The most fruit a tree can produce in a year is about 50 pounds, and they only produce that peak weight every other year. Pistachio trees are tolerant and can survive in poor soil and bad weather conditions as long as there’s enough root drainage.
Pistachio trees usually grow in the areas that summers are long, hot and dry, and the winters are moderately cold.
This specific condition limits the areas of the world where they can be grown to three main locations—Turkey, Iran and California—which in turn limits production and that is the second reason why they are more expensive than other nuts. Pistachios also must be hulled and dried to be a stable commodity, and this must be done within 24 hours of removal from the tree.
The machinery used for this process is also expensive and has only one use which is hulling and drying. Also you can’t stockpile pistachios, which can be done with almonds.