February 3, 2015 @ HuffingtonPost
What the hell happened to red pistachios? If you have no idea what red pistachios are, you’re probably under the age of 30. Once upon a time, however, pistachios used to be bright red — not a natural red, but a dyed red that left your hands (and potentially your face) a vivid hue of cherry. But they’re not around anymore. So what gives?
The disappearance of red-colored pistachios is a direct result of the exponential increase in homegrown pistachios and the limit on pistachio imports from the Middle East. When the U.S. was importing pistachios, the nut shells would often be splotchy in color, the Kitchn explains. The shells got stained from traditional harvesting methods in which the nuts weren’t immediately hulled and washed. Since the appearance of these stains was unappetizing, pistachio producers in the Middle East took to dying the shells bright red to hide the stains, Richard Matoian, Executive Director of the American Pistachio Growers told HuffPost Taste. A few American producers followed suit because the market was used to seeing pistachios with a bright red hue, Matoian said. But all that’s over now.
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