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Tornos News | Media Report: Pistachios from the Greek island of Aegina are the best in the world

The Greek island of Aegina is internationally known for its pistachios, or fistikia, which are considered to be of the best quality in the world, according to greekreporter. com.

Pistachios were first planted and grown on a large scale on Aegina, a Greek island in the Saronic Gulf not far from Athens, in the mid-19th century.

The pistachio tree, originally from Iran, was first brought to the Greek island and mainland in 1860, and the trees flourished in the Mediterranean climate and special soil of Aegina.

Now, Greece is Europe’s largest pistachio exporter and the sixth largest in the world, making pistachio an integral part of the country’s agricultural production.

Aegina pistachios are unique
While pistachios are found all over the world, the variety found on Aegina, called koilarati, is rare and exceptionally delicious.

The vast majority of pistachio trees on the island are found on the west side of Aegina where the terrain is less mountainous and the soil is dry and rich in calcium carbonate.

Surprisingly, the lack of irrigation, proximity to the ocean and the unique soil composition of the island all contribute to the unique taste of Aegina pistachios.

The trees thrive on the island, as their fruit, which contains pistachio, ripen under the heat of the Greek sun.

Pistachios, as many know them, are actually the seeds of the tree. They are contained in the pistachio fruit, which is quite small and edible.

As they ripen, the hard pistachio seed shell audibly cracks inside the fruit, signaling it’s time to pick them. Pistachio trees flower in April when the fruit begins to grow. They are ready to be harvested in August.

When the nuts are ready to pick, nearly everyone on the island helps pick them up with a special long stick used to knock down the berries.

Aegina pistachios differ from other nuts in that they have a sweeter, more complex flavor that does not need salt or other flavourings, making them the perfect snack.

Due to their unique qualities and cultural importance, Aegina pistachios have been declared a Protected Designation of Origin product by the European Union since 1996.

Aegina produces nearly 800 tons of pistachios a year and the nut is a key part of the island’s culture.

The Pistachio Cooperative of Aegina is made up of those who depend on the harvest for their livelihood. Many of the members are either farmers, who plant, maintain, harvest and process the nuts, or those who market and export the delicious pistachio.

Surprisingly, over half of the island’s residents are members of the cooperative, which was formed in 1947.

RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations, Greek tourist market, Greek tourism statistics, Report on Greek tourism

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Stan Shebs