Did you know that Pistachio trees live for hundreds of years?  The pistachio is the seed fruit of Pistacia vera, originating in Persia. The English name pistachio is derived from pisteh, its Persian name. Also known as the green almond, the pistachio is related to the cashew.  The 20-foot tall trees thrive in stony, poor soil under high heat and with little or no rainfall, but cannot tolerate humidity or excessive moisture conditions. These trees live for centuries with no care necessary. In fact, Iran boasts of a 700-year-old tree still living.

Today, 98 percent of the world supply of pistachios is consumed in the United States.  Pistachios were brought to the United States on a wide-scale basis in the 1880’s by a former Syrian immigrant who was a nut salesman. Pistachios are currently cultivated as a commercial crop in California, Italy, Turkey, and Iran, with the U.S. being the second largest producer in the world.   Commercial harvesters have machines to shake the fruit down over tarps. The pistachio is a drupe, which means it has an outer fleshy covering over the hard-shelled nut, like nutmeg. The fruit is gathered and then soaked to remove the outer soft red or yellow covering before the hard shells containing the nut are dried in the sun.

One of the most popular uses of pistachios is pistachio ice cream, a creation credited to James W. Parkinson of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania around 1840. 1

Umpqua Dairy Pistachio Almond ice cream uses lots of chopped almonds to enhance the enjoyment of the pistachio flavored ice cream…a perfect after dinner, midday or just because treat.

This is a limited edition flavor from Umpqua Dairy…so stock up now!

Pistachio Almond Ice Cream Bread

Recipe inspired by: Mannadonn Blog Spot  

Ingredients:

1.75 quart Umpqua Pistachio Almond Ice Cream, semi melted

3 cups self-rising flour

Assorted mix ins of your choice (Chocolate chips, coconut flakes or your favorite nut)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 9×5 inch loaf pans with baking spray. Stir together flour, ice cream and mix ins in a medium mixing bowl until just combined. Pour batter into prepared loaf pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (there may be a few crumbs), about 40-45 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan about 10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely. Slice, serve and enjoy!

Ice Cream Truffles

Recipe inspired by Epicurious

 

Ingredients:

1.75 quart Umpqua Pistachio Almond Ice Cream

20 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups shelled natural pistachios or almonds, chopped

Directions:

Line large rimmed baking sheet with waxed paper. Using 1 1/2-inch round ice cream scoop or round 1 tablespoon measuring spoon and working quickly, scoop out 24 round balls of Umpqua Pistachio Almond Ice Cream, placing ice cream on prepared baking sheet. Freeze ice cream overnight.

Combine chopped chocolate and vegetable oil in large metal bowl. Place bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water; stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water. Cool chocolate until barely lukewarm.

Place pistachios in a medium bowl. Line a pie plate with waxed paper. Working quickly with 1 ice cream ball at a time, drop into lukewarm melted chocolate. Using fork, turn to coat and lift out chocolate-coated ball. Drop ball off fork into bowl with pistachios, using hands to turn to coat. Place truffle in prepared pie dish. Repeat with remaining ice cream balls, melted chocolate, and pistachios; place in freezer. Freeze all ice cream truffles until firm, about 2 hours, then cover and keep frozen. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Keep frozen.) Serve and enjoy!

1 “Pistachio History”, Peggy Trowbridge Filippone