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  #1  
Old 04-02-2005, 12:32 AM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Why are pistachios sold in the shells?

Every other nut, you can buy in the shell, or shelled. But I've never seen pistachios offered for sale without the shells. Why is that?
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  #2  
Old 04-02-2005, 12:34 AM
Zabali_Clawbane Zabali_Clawbane is offline
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I've seen them for sale on rare occaision without the shell. I don't know why they'd be sold most often in the shell, unless it had to do with preserving them better? Keeping them from getting soggy maybe?
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  #3  
Old 04-02-2005, 02:42 AM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zabali_Clawbane
I've seen them for sale on rare occaision without the shell.
I never have (except in ice-cream form). Where have you?
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  #4  
Old 04-02-2005, 04:15 AM
butter pie butter pie is offline
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Maybe because the shells are so easy to pick off, there's no real point to expending the machine energy to de-shell them, unless it's for pre-fab food (like ice cream.)

All the other nuts I can think of require a nutcracker or other heroic measures to get the bloody things open. Well, except peanuts, which are sold in the shells a lot too.
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  #5  
Old 04-02-2005, 08:26 AM
Shalmanese Shalmanese is online now
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Sunflower seeds are often sold shelled.

I think partly it has to do with preserving them. The few unshelled pistachios taste noticably staler than the shelled ones if they are left out for a day.
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  #6  
Old 04-02-2005, 08:34 AM
Gail Gail is offline
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I just thought it had to do with the cost...it would be cheaper to sell them with the shells. For the most part, when you buy them in shell, their partially opened and it's easy to get them out.

On the other hand, Trader Joe's has shelled pistachios.
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  #7  
Old 04-02-2005, 08:45 AM
Joe Mahma Joe Mahma is offline
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WalMart sells pistachios without shells (in the Pittsburgh area, anyway).
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  #8  
Old 04-02-2005, 12:51 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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I once saw, at Publix, a great big thing of shelled pistachios (in a plastic jug sort of arrangement, near the raisins, if that helps.) Anyway, I was all excited. I brought them home and found them seriously lacking. Either the labor of shelling makes the final nut much more delicious, or the shells protect them in some way. I've never bought them shelled since, and I love my pistachios as an occaisional treat.
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  #9  
Old 04-02-2005, 02:41 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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Shelled pistachios are often sold for use in baking (or homemade ice cream). FYI, I tried unsalted pistachios in the shell once, and didn't like them. My guess is that shelled pistachios are unsalted as well, and the lack of salt is what makes them unpleasant..

(BTW, I heard that if you are eating pistachios in the shell and come across one that's still closed, it means it's going to be unpleasant in taste.)
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  #10  
Old 04-02-2005, 03:16 PM
Squink Squink is offline
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Grabbing a handful of pre-shelled pistachios is nowhere near as comuplsively satisfying as picking them up one by one, shelling them, and popping them into your mouth. It probably hearkens back to our apish ancestor's obsession with grooming nits from each other's fur.
Pistachio dealers actually sort the nuts via sound sensors or 'pin pickers' to remove nuts without cracks large enough for primate fingers to get into.
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  #11  
Old 04-02-2005, 03:39 PM
Zabali_Clawbane Zabali_Clawbane is offline
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I've cracked open a still closed pistachio shell, and eaten the meat with varying results, sometimes it's rotten, sometimes it's not. It was in Wal-mart that I saw the unshelled pistachios for sale, but it might also have been the supermarket around Christmas. The unshelled ones I got were salted too, they were sold in a small package meant for "eating on the run". They did taste a little stale, kinda soggy, so that's why I wondered if the shells kept the nuts from getting damp. Maybe if they were packeged in foil lined plastic, and sold quickly they'd be better?
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  #12  
Old 04-02-2005, 04:28 PM
danceswithcats danceswithcats is offline
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IIRC cashews could not be sold unshelled because the shells were poisonous. Yes?
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  #13  
Old 04-02-2005, 04:29 PM
Otto Otto is offline
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My parents buy me a big jar of shelled pistachios for Christmas every year. That and my leaf-shaped maple sugar candy and the oranges from Florida are about the only Christmas traditions I demand must be kept. Not sure what company sells the shelled pistachios but if anyone's interested I can look at the jar label when I get home.

As for why sell them in the shell, perhaps it's because they're sold by weight and a pound of pistacios with shells will have significantly fewer nuts than a pound without, thus making the intact pistachios more profitable for the growers.
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  #14  
Old 04-02-2005, 06:15 PM
jsgoddess jsgoddess is offline
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Kroger always has shelled pistachios in a can along with the other nuts. Very expensive, in general. I think the only nut that costs more is the macadamia.
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  #15  
Old 04-02-2005, 09:49 PM
Baggins111 Baggins111 is offline
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I love pistachios. Love them. I think half of the experience is cracking the shell open. Especially since I quit smoking. I feel that it's worth the effort and I like the tactile experience. I wouldn't have them any other way.

Same thing with peanuts. I love to shell peanuts and eat them. Best around a campfire where you can just throw the shells in the fire.
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  #16  
Old 04-03-2005, 01:04 AM
panache45 panache45 is online now
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I've bought bags of shelled pistachios from Costco.
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  #17  
Old 04-03-2005, 01:49 PM
jhinman jhinman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danceswithcats
IIRC cashews could not be sold unshelled because the shells were poisonous. Yes?
Yes, it is related to Posion Ivy:

http://homecooking.about.com/cs/atoz...x/a/cashew.htm
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  #18  
Old 04-03-2005, 03:04 PM
Motorgirl Motorgirl is online now
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Tradet Joe's always seems to have bags of shelled pistachios, as well as shell-on pistachios.

I suspect on of the reasons is that when you see the price of a bag of shelled pistachios, it gives you pause.

Also, they are fun to shell. Makes a good TV snack.

I buy them shell-on for snacks, and shelled for cooking because I usually need a large amount for cooking/baking and who wants to shell that many pistachios at once?
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  #19  
Old 04-03-2005, 03:08 PM
Susie Derkins Susie Derkins is offline
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They sell them in the shell so that little girls can pretend that the shells are their beautiful fingernails. I'm not the only one who did this, I hope.

The next question is: Why did they used to dye them red? And why did they stop?
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  #20  
Old 04-03-2005, 03:09 PM
Susie Derkins Susie Derkins is offline
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I guess that should have read "the next two questions are"...
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  #21  
Old 04-03-2005, 03:31 PM
stately plump buck mulligan stately plump buck mulligan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susie Derkins
They sell them in the shell so that little girls can pretend that the shells are their beautiful fingernails. I'm not the only one who did this, I hope.

Oh hell naw you were not. I love you for reminding me of that.



I agree that shelled pistachios get stale and soggy way faster than most of their brethren.

Also, I hope I am not the only freak who eats sunflower seeds whole. Unshelled. Especially the Ranch flavor ones. Mmm, trashy.
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  #22  
Old 04-03-2005, 03:46 PM
Misha77 Misha77 is offline
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Also, I hope I am not the only freak who eats sunflower seeds whole. Unshelled. Especially the Ranch flavor ones. Mmm, trashy.
Nah, you're not. I love them unshelled too. Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone! I never heard of ranch flavor though--I'll have to try that.
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  #23  
Old 04-03-2005, 04:04 PM
TellMeI'mNotCrazy TellMeI'mNotCrazy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susie Derkins
They sell them in the shell so that little girls can pretend that the shells are their beautiful fingernails. I'm not the only one who did this, I hope.

The next question is: Why did they used to dye them red? And why did they stop?

I believe that they used to dye them red to hide blemishes in the shell, for fear that people would notice the blemish and think something was wrong with it.


(Does quick search)

Ah yes, I think I learned that from Unca Cece himself:

http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mpistachio.html
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  #24  
Old 04-03-2005, 04:47 PM
conurepete conurepete is offline
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They are sold in the shell to ensure life long employment for Kiwi the conure, who is a small parrot. His owner loves to eat pistachios, but shelling them makes her knuckles hurt. He loves to shell them, but is not interested in eating them. I saw them hanging out at the Michigan Renaissance fair: she handed him nuts, he popped the shell open, and she caught the pistachio to eat. Its one of those Miracle of Nature things.
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  #25  
Old 04-03-2005, 04:55 PM
stately plump buck mulligan stately plump buck mulligan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misha77
Nah, you're not. I love them unshelled too. Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone! I never heard of ranch flavor though--I'll have to try that.

David sunflower seeds have all this junk on their bags now about being a "seeder" - someone who takes the time to reap the simple rewards of orally cracking sunflower seeds one at a time to get to the precious meat inside. I always do a maniacal little inner-laugh when I read that, while popping seeds in my mouth a dozen at a time and crunching down with wild abandon. "Oh David!, if you only knew."

Man, they have a new flavor now: Honey BBQ. The Holy Grail of snacking for us nonseeders.
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  #26  
Old 04-03-2005, 05:10 PM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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Originally Posted by BrainGlutton
I never have (except in ice-cream form). Where have you?
Try one of the more upscale Publixes in our area. Look on or near the produce/sushi area. Heck, I'll buy you a bag if I find one next time I'm in Publix, just to prove that they exist. You have to buy the beer, though. How's your voice?
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  #27  
Old 04-03-2005, 06:37 PM
Omega Glory Omega Glory is online now
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I see them shelled and the unshelled (both dyed red and natural) in the bulk section of Tops every time I go there. I think Tops supermarket might be an exclusively eastern store though, so you probably won't find one in your area.
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  #28  
Old 04-03-2005, 06:44 PM
danceswithcats danceswithcats is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conurepete
They are sold in the shell to ensure life long employment for Kiwi the conure, who is a small parrot. His owner loves to eat pistachios, but shelling them makes her knuckles hurt. He loves to shell them, but is not interested in eating them. I saw them hanging out at the Michigan Renaissance fair: she handed him nuts, he popped the shell open, and she caught the pistachio to eat. Its one of those Miracle of Nature things.
That is so cool. What kind was he? For that matter, what kind is yours? Mine is a mitred, named Sam.

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  #29  
Old 04-05-2005, 05:00 PM
Skywatcher Skywatcher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stately plump buck mulligan
Man, they have a new flavor now: Honey BBQ. The Holy Grail of snacking for us nonseeders.
Nothing can compare to honey roasted sunflower kernels. Pure heaven in a Planters bag! Haven't seen any in years, though.
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  #30  
Old 04-05-2005, 08:37 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Originally Posted by stately plump buck mulligan
Also, I hope I am not the only freak who eats sunflower seeds whole. Unshelled. Especially the Ranch flavor ones. Mmm, trashy.
You mean, you pop them in your mouth, crunch them, and spit out the shell crumbs? Or you eat the shells? I didn't think they were edible.
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  #31  
Old 04-05-2005, 08:39 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Originally Posted by ShibbOleth
How's your voice?
Still the same. I've had laryngitis for two months now. My GP doctor and an ENT specialist are both baffled. I think it's because the oak trees are in bloom (I'm horribly allergic).
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  #32  
Old 04-05-2005, 08:57 PM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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Originally Posted by BrainGlutton
Still the same. I've had laryngitis for two months now. My GP doctor and an ENT specialist are both baffled. I think it's because the oak trees are in bloom (I'm horribly allergic).
I didn't think there was oak pollen out here two months ago. Maybe you've got Diptheria?
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  #33  
Old 04-05-2005, 09:05 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Originally Posted by ShibbOleth
I didn't think there was oak pollen out here two months ago. Maybe you've got Diptheria?
I think it started as a cold -- my doctor says he's seen several kinds going around this past winter, and one kind causes laryngitis and hangs around four or five weeks -- but my allergic reaction is what's keeping me from getting over it. I had a throat culture taken for bacterial infections and it turned up nothing, so it's probably not diphtheria, which is bacterial (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diptheria). Whatever it is, it sucks. I can't sing!
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