HotForWords - My Favorite Nut - The Pistachio





The interactive transcript could not be loaded.



Rating is available when the video has been rented.
This feature is not available right now. Please try again later.
Uploaded on Nov 22, 2010

Follow me on TWITTER HERE http://twitter.com/hotforwords Join me on FACEBOOK HERE http://www.facebook.com/hotforwords

Mmmm.. so good! I just love pistachio nuts, don't you? They're wonderful!

How do you eat them? I can't eat them like Milos Columbo from the James Bond movie who just popped the whole nut into his mouth then spit out the shell!

"Are you a... hold on a second"..

"Are you a .." and she looks up .."spy?".. "Hey, where did you go??
I guess I don't eat pistachio nuts in as cool a manner as that Milos guy! But anyway... back to the pistachio.
Where did the pistachio nut come from? And how did it get its name?

HotForWords investigates the pistachio!

Pistachio has an interesting origin because it came to English in the 1590s from the Italian pistacchio, which is turn came from the Latin pistacium, which meant, of all things a "Pistachio nut!'' and that came from the Greek pistakion which meant... guess.... close... "pistachio tree" which in turn came from the Persian pista which also meant "pistachio tree!"

So pistachio is one of those rare words that didn't really change meaning going all the way back to its origin!
Pistachios have the same meaning in all these different languages, but where did the pistachio originate from?

Well, the first archaeological findings of pistachios go all the way back to around 6,760 BC in the territory today known as Jordan and they were considered food for the rich and the chosen.
Pistachios flourish in warm climates and they spread from the Middle East to the Mediterranean, to places like Italy and Greece.

There is a story that lovers used to meet under pistachio trees and listened to the cracking of the nuts below the moonlight, which was a sign that they would be happy. Where did this cracking sound come from? Well, when the pistachio fruit ripens and turns into a nut, the shell changes from green to a yellow/red color and then abruptly splits way open, making that clicking sound. This is known as dehiscence, and happens with an audible pop. Dehiscence comes from the Latin de + hiscere from hiare, meaning gaping, where the word yawn comes from.

Anyway, pistachios were imported into the United States in the mid to late 1800s, but it wasn't until 1929 that American plant scientist William E. Whitehouse was sent to Iran on behalf of the U.S. government to collect seeds for a special pistachio project. He returned to California with 20 pounds of seeds from which the modern Kerman variety of pistachio was cultivated. Today, the state ofCalifornia is the second largest producer of pistachios in the world, harvesting more than 400 million pounds of pistachios a year.

But, all I know is that pistachio nuts are wonderful and seem to keep spies away from me!
There you go, another mystery solved by your trusty HotForWords.

For your homework, tell me how you "get crackin'" when you eat pistachios? And for extra credit, add some pistachios into your diet, they taste so wonderful.

Bye by my dear students, be good. Taking out another nut to eat. Now where did that spy looking character go...

This video brought to you by Wonderful Pistachios!


When autoplay is enabled, a suggested video will automatically play next.

Up next

to add this to Watch Later

Add to

Loading playlists...