The scientific name for the pistachio is Pistacia vera L. It is a member of the family Anacardiaceae which contains such widely known plants as the cashew, mango and poison oak. The pistachio tree is an old tree with a great antiquity. There are many opinions about its origin; mostly know the internal area of Iran as the original region that this tree has grown there for the first time. The pistachio is a small tree, reaching about 30 feet of height at full maturity. Usual commercial plantings are approximately 120 trees per acre. They begin to produce nuts in the 4th or 5th year after planting, and good production takes 8 to 10 years, with full bearing maturity occurring after 15 to 20 years. Average yield per tree is 1/2 lb the 5th year, increasing to up to 80 lb at maturity.
As though the hot and dry climate of Iran is very compatible with the characteristic of this tree it has splendor in this country more than everywhere in the world. The trees begin to bloom with the arrival of warm weather in late March. The male pollinates the female via the April winds, and the shell of the nut is fully developed by mid-May. Before June ends, the seed inside the shell has begun its rapid expansion and by the first of August, the seed has filled the shell. The nuts, splitting at the seams, are usually ready to be harvested beginning September 10th.
Harvest of pistachio includes picking the fruits from the trees by hand, separating the outer hull from the hard shell and washing by machines then dry it in the sun. Then separate cracked nuts from closed nuts, sort and pack nuts using machines.Between Iranian people pistachios are known as "Green Gold" and are considered as an important commodity in both nutritional and economical forms. Pistachios occupy a special place in the heart of every Iranian. Pistachios can be found in every Iranian household because they have become a part of the Iranian culture by bringing families together and are seen a delicacy being offered to a guest who may just drop in for a visit and a cup of tea.
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