Many people don’t realize that pistachios come in a variety of types.
You may have thought that, when you purchase pistachios, the differences are from one manufacturer to the next.
Although this is sometimes the case, there are still different types of pistachios on the market.
Each type is known for being slightly different in some unique way.
In our guide, we will go through some of the different types of pistachios so you know what to expect next time you purchase this delicious nut.
Types of Pistachios
1. Iranian Round Pistachio (Fandoghi)
The first type of pistachio is the most widely known and probably the one you have eaten many times.
The pistachio is very heavily grown in Iran, and that is why you will see they are sometimes called by their Iranian name and not the English name.
This particular pistachio is round in shape and has been increasing in popularity for quite some time.
About half of all pistachios grown at this time are round pistachios.
The problem that many pistachio growers are finding with the Round Pistachio is that it takes quite a bit of planting to create a small number of pistachios.
This is unfortunate and has led to people choosing different varieties of pistachio to grow.
2. Iranian Jumbo Pistachio (Kalleqouchi)
The most important thing to remember about the Iranian Jumbo Pistachio is that it is enormous.
This nut is well known because of its size being considerably bigger than the other pistachio options out there.
This variety of pistachio grows a bit differently than some of the others, and it’s a very vulnerable plant.
The jumbo pistachio will cost you quite a bit more money than some other pistachio sizes, but you can rest assured that a lot more effort went into producing that crop than other crops.
The Jumbo Pistachio is very sensitive to both cold weather and a shortage of water.
If there are any issues with these, the crop will be significantly diminished.
One of the reasons you may be seeing this type of pistachio begin to go away is that it is not being planted much anymore.
The crop is still being produced from existing plants.
The problem that was noticed is that, after about forty years of producing, the plants start to reduce their ability to produce pistachios significantly.
This is, of course, a problem for farmers who are planning their farms to last from generation to generation.
It is challenging to manage the desires of this particular breed of pistachio, and therefore, it may be one that starts to fade away completely.
If you love the Jumbo Pistachio, now may be the time to go and stock up.
3. Iranian Long Pistachio (Arbari, Badami)
The Iranian Long Pistachio is quite popular and is becoming more and more popular with each passing year.
This long pistachio is available in many different types, and you will notice it also seems to have a lighter shell than other varieties.
The Iranian Long Pistachio is harvested in late September, and the crops seem to be very strong.
Each year, the pistachio farmers are finding more and more success with the Long Pistachio variety.
Although this pistachio is not as large as the Jumbo version, it still allows you a decent-sized fruit.
4. Kernel Pistachio
Kernel pistachios are pieces from closed pistachios.
These are usually going to be small in size, and sometimes they will be broken apart as well.
These types of pistachios are great for cooking, and you can season them to your liking and then roast or bake them.
The kernel pistachio is also sometimes a bit lower in price than something like the Jumbo Pistachio because you are just talking about the pieces.
5. Green Skinned Pistachio
The green-skinned pistachios are sometimes called shelled raw pistachios.
These are technically the same thing, and they will look like you are getting the full pistachio without its shell in place.
The green-skinned pistachios are much easier to eat because you won’t need to remove the shell and work for your snack.
These pistachios are ready to eat, and you can quickly season them or roast them if you so choose.
Some people enjoy eating pistachios when they must remove them from the shell.
It adds to the experience, and it sometimes improves the taste and freshness of the pistachio as well.
This will become a matter of personal preference over time as to how you most enjoy eating pistachios.
6. Roasted and Salted Pistachios
When you purchase pistachios, you can get them raw and make your own adjustments to them, or eat them plain.
Many people like to purchase pistachios that are already roasted, flavored, or salted.
This is a common treat to put out when entertaining, and the possibilities of flavors are almost endless.
There are sweet pistachios, savory, salty, and more.
The critical thing to remember when buying roasted or salted pistachios is that you will probably pay more money for slightly smaller pistachios.
Since the process of roasting, salting, and flavoring the pistachios is going to take time, you will pay a premium for these nuts.
The only problem is that sometimes you don’t get a better quality nut, just something flavored.
Making roasted or salted nuts at your home is undoubtedly a possibility if you want to be sure about the type of pistachio or the grade that is being used inside your meal.
7. Turkish Antep Pistachios
Turkish Antep Pistachios are grown in Turkey and are well known for being very high in quality.
If you are a pistachio connoisseur, you will want to get your hands on some of these pistachios.
People love these Turkish Antep Pistachios because they are naturally quite good for you.
These nuts are gluten-free, low cholesterol, high in protein, and low in sugar.
Aside from the fact that they taste great, they are also an excellent way to get through a day if you feel like you need a little boost of energy.
The Antep is smaller than many of the other pistachios on the market.
The only real downside to the Antep is that it can be a bit more challenging to open, but once you do, you will not mind what it took to open the nut.
Each nut is very rich in taste, and these are considered to be one of the premium types of pistachios available to purchase.
8. Red Pistachios
Many years ago, red pistachios were considered a beautiful decorative treat to add to any snack table.
Red pistachios do not grow that way naturally; instead, they are died the red color.
The reason they are dyed is so any imperfections on the shells are hidden.
This makes the nut look much better, but it really won’t have much impact on the taste of the nut.
These red pistachios were initially only made in Iran, but they are now being produced in the United States as well.
Most of the time, they will be a medium-sized nut.
9. Persian Elongated Pistachios (Akbari)
This is the longest variety of pistachio you will be able to find.
It is very similar to the Iranian long pistachios, but it should still be a bit longer.
These Akbari Pistachios have a vibrant nutty flavor, and they have a higher unsaturated fat content.
When you talk about adding more good fats to your diet, the Akbari pistachio would be an excellent choice to consider.
These particular pistachios are known for their flavor, and they are recognized globally.
Other Ways to Purchase Pistachios
Now that we have covered the different types of pistachios available to purchase, you may be wondering what you can make with pistachios.
Pistachios come in a variety of other formats aside from just the raw or shelled nuts.
You can get anything from Pistachio flour to Dark Chocolate covered pistachios.
Here are a few unique ways you may see pistachios sold.
1. Ground Pistachio Nut Flour
If you are baking and need to keep things gluten-free, ground pistachio nut flour is a great choice.
Indeed, this is going to be much more expensive than a traditional flour from a grocer, but it will also have no sugar added, be low in fat, and low in cholesterol as well.
This is an excellent option if you know you like pistachios and you want to change things up with your cooking or baking.
Although Halva is not made entirely of pistachio, it is very much a key ingredient.
Halva is a sweet candy that is very popular in the Middle East.
Some of the other ingredients present in Halva include semolina, tahini, flour, and sugar.
Halva is sold in several different flavors and styles, but pistachio is a key flavor profile in the best Halva.
3. Chocolate Covered Pistachio/Pistachio Chocolate Bark
Pistachio and chocolate seem to make a good mix.
Let’s face it, there isn’t too much that chocolate doesn’t go with.
The majority of pistachio treats made with chocolate will be shelled pistachios
4. Passover Pistachios
Pistachios are considered to be Kosher food, so they are a very popular treat for the Jewish people during that time of year.
Pistachios are used to make many different types of treats and desserts that may not otherwise be available to Jewish people during this time of year.
You will notice that many companies that sell nuts will sell special Passover nuts that are deemed to be Kosher.
The Pistachios will sometimes be eaten as a snack, or they will be used to cook and bake.
A very common and traditional meal would be a pistachio-crusted salmon.
Many recipes will combine the kosher pistachios to help make a Passover celebration even more special.
Now that you have an idea of the different types of pistachios on the market, you can start stocking your cabinets.
Unfortunately, the pistachio is not an inexpensive nut.
In fact, it is one of the more expensive nuts people can purchase.
There are a few reasons behind the pricing of pistachios being so high.
For starters, the pistachio plant will take about 15–20 years to mature.
This is a very long time, and not all farmers and business entrepreneurs can afford to sign up for a commitment like this.
Each pistachio tree, even when it is mature, does not make that many pistachios with each crop.
Therefore, not only are you waiting a long time for a decent crop, but you won’t get much out of it.
Lastly, the pistachio plant seems to grow in cycles with one good year, one bad year.
This is quite a bit of work to get started and maintain, so the prices on the nuts are going to be considerably higher.
When you consider the work involved, the pricing should make more sense.
For sure, the pistachio offers a unique and wonderful flavor that no other nut does.