Saturday, February 26, 2011

It's Pistachio Day, Bring on the Dumante!

Being an urban gardener as well as a designer of cards that go beyond communication, I often receive notices about how things grow and updates on unique holidays. Today, February 26th, encompasses both because it is National Pistachio Day, and if you are one who needs rationale to indulge in a treat, this is the day you can eat pistachio nuts with good cause knowing you are honoring a national holiday.
As for the observance of pistachio day, according to Christine Cadena (Contributor Network), "it is believed that individuals who stand in and among pistachio trees, and hear the ripening sound of popping fruits and leaves, will have prosperity, good luck and fortune. Unfortunately, with the peak time for harvest of the pistachio occurring in September, those who stand in and among pistachio orchards, in February, may find great difficulty in hearing the sound of cool temperatures of the evening. As a result, the National Pistachio Day celebrations may soon move to September, during peak harvest, to allow for the most benefit to those who wish to follow this tradition of good fortune." However for today, February 26th 2011, National Pistachio Day will be honored.

I am not sure why this occasion is limited to a national celebration since pistachios are enjoyed worldwide.The origin of this nut is in the Mediterranean, and it now grows in California (although a tree can take up to twenty years to reach full production, a fact not lost on gardeners who like to see more immediate fruits of their labor).  According to "Pistachio Queen", "Nearly half of California's crop of pistachios are now exported around the world where they are enjoyed by many cultures . . . In China, the pistachio is known as the 'happy nut' because it looks like it is smiling and is often given as a gift for the Chinese New Year . . . In India, they are used in a saffron pistachio drink, 'Shree Guruji Kesar Pista Sharbat. . . " 

Pistachios are also enjoyed in Israel, Russia, France, and by yours truly, where I don't need the excuse of a national holiday to enjoy pistachio ice-cream at Emack and Bolio's, or to serve Dumante (the pistachio liqueur from Sicily) when I entertain guests and clients to celebrate various seasons in my garden!

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