You're probably considering nominating either Beth or me to complete the sentence in the title. Or, maybe Rainbow? Or, perhaps animated realtor John Brown? Or affable realtor Paul Sacco? Or comedian Phil Farda?

This post DOES have a double-meaning, however, as pistachio nuts are enjoying their day in the sun these days. Big budget TV ads in recent Super Bowls have featured NFL stars and other personalities, like late night talk show host Stephen Colbert and Asian pop sensation Psy (above and here.)

Locally, Symeon's, The Grapevine, Zeina's, Karam's, and even Dippin' Donuts all rely on the wonderful pistachio nut for some of the signature sweet treats we enjoy here in the Mohawk Valley. So, it seems fitting we should all take a moment and observe a big day this week.

Monday, February 26th is National Pistachio Day. The nut that is central to many desserts, such as baklava, at Central New York eateries has interesting qualities separating it from other nuts and deserving of attention.

Pistachio trees grow best with high temperatures and require very little rain. The natural color of the nut is beige, but some companies dye them green or red to appeal to consumers.

And don't just throw away the shells. They can be used as kindling for starting fires. And, according to the National Day Calendar, the shells have other practical uses:

To line the bottom of pots containing houseplants for drainage and retention of soil for up to two years.  Shells from salted pistachios can also be placed around the base of plants to deter slugs and snails. Research indicates that pistachio shells may be helpful in cleaning up pollution created by mercury emissions."

So, by all means, vote for your favorite Central New York "Nut" and, while you're enjoying your baklava or pistachio ice ice cream, give thanks and pay your respects to the mighty pistachio.


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