National Pistachio Day

You know the nut – it is delicious, roasted, and salty, a great snack and marketing heavily as a healthy snack. That’s not how I remembered them as a youth – in my day…

…there were only found in light bulb heated display cases on convenience store counters and dyed a bright red that always came off on your finger tips and under your nails when you ate them. Yum, delicious Red Dye #2 – just what every growing boy needs.

But when I discovered Pistachio Ice Cream it was a neon green color. How could one naturally tan nut have so many wild colors? Turns out that hand picked pistachio nut shells can be discolored by the oils of the hands of a harvester person.

After harvesting machines were invented that was no longer a problem so red dye stopped being regularly applied. And the pistachio nut actually has some chlorophyll that can give the usually tan ice cream a greenish tint if some baking soda is added to the process to make the mixture more alkaline. But let’s be honest, that neon green color is mostly food coloring nowadays to give it a recognizable characteristic. While it may not be your favorite nut, it is certainly something to dye for. Sorry, I’m a bit of a nut myself.

As always, you can find more at and on Twitter @walterthinnes

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