The pistachio (from the ancient Greek Pistàkion) is a very old plant which comes from away, from Persia and Turkey and crossing the “mare nostrum”, is rooted in Sicily, particularly in Bronte (CT). Today over 4000 hectares of this territory are cultivated pistachio.
In 2009, the pistachio from Bronte was awarded the PDO (Protected Designation of Origin).
The pistachio owes its precious and unique characteristics to its territory, in fact, its trees grow on rocky terrain covered by volcanic lava from Etna and the greater importance of the pistachio of Bronte concerns the chlorophyll content, higher than other types of pistachio, which gives it an intense green colour. The shell of the real pistachio of Bronte has a slightly concave shape, with the ends slightly upwards. The fruit inside has an elongated shape and is covered by a thin violet-coloured skin with green reflections.
CULTIVATION AND HARVESTING
The harvest takes place at the end of summer, between August and September, but only ever other year, this allows the plants to have a proper period of rest, in a year of good production 4 to 4.5 million kg are collected. Once harvested, the pistachios are placed on large sheets where they are put to dry in the sun.
MEALS AND OTHER USES
The pistachio of Bronte is also used in main courses and in many other different ways: to aromatize drinks and various dishes; it is used in the sausage industry (mortadella) but is mainly used in the confectionery industry in pasta, nougats, mousse, confetti, ice cream, biscuits, chocolate and the famous “pistachio pesto” for pasta dressing and many others.
Every year at the end of September, in some squares and streets of the historic center of Bronte the pistachio festival takes place. During the festival you can taste and buy the products obtained with the processing of pistachio and the fruits themselves. Every year the event attracts thousands of tourists from abroad.