Ark of taste
Back to the archive >


Pesta, or pistachio tree, grows naturally in Afghanistan. There are three types of natural pistachios in the country such as Pesta (Pistacia vera L.), Khinjak (Pistacia khinjuk L.), and Ahol (Pistacia atlantica DSF.)
Pistachios are one of the most deciduous and popular nuts in the world. Several species of the genus Pistacia are referred to as pistachio, but only the fruits of Pistacia vera L. attain a large enough size to be acceptable to consumers as edible nuts.
Natural forest pistachio trees are grown and developed from China to Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, and Turkey. It grows naturally in forests in Badakhshan, Takhar, Kunduz, Baghlan, Samangan, Balkh, Jawzjan, Badghis and Herat provinces. The largest natural pistachio forest in the country is located in Badghis province.
The shrubs bloom during the month of April and are harvested at the end of the August. Naturally the trees are propagated by its seeds in the forest. The pistachio plant is a perennial shrub that has a long life, and it is a dioecious plant, with a separate male and female version. The male tree, which produces pollen, has a higher height and a larger diameter but the female trees have a shorter stem and produces pistachios.
The seeds are brilliant emerald, intense green, resinous, and uniquely deep flavored. 100 grams of pistachio kernels contains 20% of protein, 65% oil, 13% sugars, and it also has B1 and B2 vitamins. Moreover, there is a protrusion in the composition of pistachio leaves which is called sarghuch that contains 30% tannin and is used in the tanning and leather industries.
During pistachio harvesting in the month of August, extra skin and later its skin is separated, the mature pistachios are called khandan (open-mouth) and immature products are called korak (closed-mouth)
Pistachio kernels are used raw or in a powder form as an ingredient for different sweet preparations such as Baghlawa, Shirpera, Cakes, Cookie, Jams, Halva, Shir Brinj, and Porridge.
Baghlawa is a traditional sweet in the Persia diaspora to Turkey and some Arab countries. It consists of pistachio, sugar, wheat flour, walnuts, cardamom, lemon, and butter.
Shirpera is also a traditional sweet available only in Herat, which is made of butter, sugar, milk, cardamom, pistachio, and almond or walnuts.
Due to climate change, lack of management, unavailability of sufficient energy in local area, economic poverty, and unavailability of security for preserving of forest areas about 70% of pistachio trees are demolished.

Back to the archive >





Other info


Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves

Nominated by:Abdullah Faiz