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Seed & Shell FAQs

Uncover the inside scoop on pistachios

  • FAQs about Pistachios

    What (Exactly) Is a Pistachio?

    The scientific term for pistachios is pistachio vera, and they are known as the "green nut." Although pistachios are technically a seed, pistachios are commonly known to us as nuts. Pistachios are cousins of the cashew tree, and are also in the same family tree branch (or "kissing cousins") of mangos.

    Why are Pistachios Green?

    Pistachios are the only nuts that are green, and they get their unique color from the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, and chlorophyll, which is the same plant pigment that gives other green vegetables such as peas, cucumbers, and celery their green color.

    Bonus fact: the purple hues in pistachios come from the presence of other antioxidants resveratrol and anthocyanin.

    What is the History of Pistachios?

    Pistachios are a prehistoric food. One of the original caveman snacks (before paleo was a thing), humans have consumed pistachios for at least 9000 years. Archeologists have discovered excavations in Central Asia uncovering that ancient civilizations consumed pistachios since at least 7000 BC. Even the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were said to have contained pistachio trees during the reign of King Meodrach around 700 BC! Pistachios were also favored by Queen Sheba herself, and she loved them so much that she designated pistachios as a royal delicacy only to be eaten by members of her court.

    Pistachios were also used by travelers and merchants on the Silk Road as a portable snack on their long trade routes. In the first century A.D., Emperor Vitellius introduced Rome to the pistachios, and the Romans loved them so much that they were even included in Apicius, a 5th century Roman recipe book! Pistachios eventually became well-known and consumed throughout Europe, and finally reached U.S. shores in the 1930s.

    Where do Pistachios Grow?

    Pistachios grow all over the world in mostly arid climates. The pistachio tree is native to regions of Central Asia. Pistachios were introduced to the U.S. in the 1930s, and are now grown primarily in California and also in Arizona and New Mexico. Our very own state of California is the second largest producer and exporter of pistachios in the world.

    Are Pistachios Healthy?

    Short Answer, yes. Pistachios contain various vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, a complete plant-based protein, all essential amino acids, fiber and antioxidants. Compared to some other nuts, pistachios are also relatively lower in fat and calories.

    Why do Pistachios have a Shell?

    Technically speaking, pistachios are a hard, one-seeded fruit known as a drupe. This "fruit" (or what we commonly think of as the inner, edible portion of a pistachio) has an outer shell which formed to offer protection from animals.

    Fun fact: Unlike other nuts, pistachios naturally split open at maturity, which is a process known as dehiscence. The pistachio fruit ripens so abruptly when the seed outgrows its shell that it causes its shell to split open suddenly with a loud popping sound!

    Additional Information

    Pistachios have some interesting cultural meanings, and are considered a symbol for prosperity across many cultures throughout the world. In Russia, hearing the crack of a pistachio being opened is considered good luck. In China, pistachios are gifted during the Lunar (or Chinese) New Year as a symbol for health, happiness, and good fortune. Both the Chinese and the Persians called pistachios the "happy nut" or the smiling nut because the split shell resembles a smile. Pistachios are known as a "warming food" for the soul in India, and are gifted during Diwali as a bearer for love and other good wishes for the New Year. In Korea, on "Daeboreum" or the "Full Moon" day celebrated on February 24 of each lunar year, friends and families gather together to drive evil spirits away with the sounds made by cracking open pistachios.  In Brazil, loved ones sharing pistachios can be considered good luck and seen as a way of showing endearment. No matter where in the world you are or what you believe in, pistachios are sure to bring you some joy in your life.

  • Where do we source our pistachios from?

    The pistachios used in all of our products are made in the USA from 100% California-Grown Pistachios

  • Ingredients

    Original Pistachio Butter

    Our original pistachio butter only contains one ingredient, 100% California-Grown Pistachios. Our pistachio butter is minimally processed with no added sugars, preservatives, additives, or oils

    Salted Pistachio Butter

    Our salted pistachio butter contains only 2 ingredients, 100% California-Grown Pistachios and sea salt. Our salted pistachio butter is minimally processed with no added sugars, preservatives, additives, or oils

  • Allergen and Details

    Allergen Details and Verifications

    Our products are all Non-GMO verified, Gluten-Free, Keto Verified and Vegan Verified

    What if I’m allergic to nuts?

    Our products are made from pistachios, which are tree nuts, thus it's not recommended for individuals with allergies. It is also important to note that our facility handles products that use other tree nuts

  • Shelf Life

    Our products have a two-year shelf life when stored in a cool, dry place. This means that if you keep them in optimal conditions, you can enjoy the quality and freshness of our products for a long period of time without refrigeration.

  • Locations

    Where can I find Seed & Shell in stores?

    To find a store location near you, please visit our website and use our store locator page. It will provide you with information about the nearest stores that carry our products

    What if there is no physical store that carries Seed & Shell products near me?

    If there are no physical stores in your area that currently carry our products, you have the option to request Seed & Shell to be stocked in your local store, and it's a simple process. We have a user-friendly request form designed just for you. By filling out the form, you'll be taking the first step in bringing our products to your local stores. Once we receive your request, we'll reach out to the store with a proposal to carry our products. Your input is incredibly valuable to us, and we are dedicated to making it as easy as possible to have our offerings closer to you.

    Use the form here to submit a request to have Seed & Shell stocked at your store!