A magnified pistachio nut at the center.

Is pistachio a nut? (Tree nut or seed)

Pistachio nuts

Is pistachio a nut or a seed or a legume?

Pistachios are very popular, yet they are more mysterious than you’d have thought! Pistachios are exotic snacks that come from the orient and are playing the role of an under-covered agent in the nut family. If you want to reveal its secret identity and see if pistachios are really nuts, keep reading!

What are nuts?

Is every food that is found inside a shell a nut? Or, should they be small and round? Or, many other questions! Well, there are some nuts that are really nuts! And, there are some that are only technically considered nuts. So, next time don’t rush to call every small and hard kernel a nut! In the following, you can see the botanical classification of “nuts”.

  • True nuts: Every fruit that has a hard shell and seed. Usually, the seed does not come out of the shell by itself. Hazelnuts, chestnuts, and acorns are categorized as true nuts.
  • Drupe seeds: Every fruit that contains a pit or stone that has a seed in it. Almonds, cashews, pecans, coconut, and walnuts are among the drupe seeds that are commonly called nuts. 
  • Other seeds: Every seed that is not enclosed, like ginkgo and pine nuts, and every seed that is enclosed in a fruit, like peanuts and macadamias.

These were the botanical classification of nuts, yet they all are called nuts in general and in culinary terms. One thing you should pay attention to is the term ‘Tree nuts’. Tree nuts as in ‘Tree nuts allergy’ refers to both nuts and seeds that come from a tree. 

What are pistachios?

Pistachios are native to the middle east, and they usually grow better in dry climates, with lots of bright sunlight, hot summers, and cool winters. Pistachio kernels are green and wrapped in thin and reddish skin. The kernels remain in the half-broken shells. Pistachios taste buttery, resinous, and pleasing. 

What type of nut is pistachio?

Pistachios are a species of the Pistacia genus, a family that also contains mangos, cashews, and poison ivy. The Pistacia Vera commonly known as pistachios are actually drupe seeds. Pistachios are not in fact nuts but are categorized as culinary nuts.

Is pistachio a healthy nut?

Pistachios are one of the healthiest snacks you can find. They are energy-dense sources of Vitamin B6, Thiamine, Phosphorous, and Magnesium. Compared to other nuts, pistachios have fewer calories, yet they contain more Vitamin K and Potassium. Pistachios also contain considerable amounts of unsaturated fats and protein. 

The dietary fiber in pistachios, as well as other carbs, help the body in many ways, which you can read all about in our post, health benefits of pistachios (for male & female). Pistachios also contain Copper, Iron, and Zinc, all of which are necessary for the body’s health. 

In a nutshell

In this post, we discussed the different categories of nuts botanically, and we got to the bottom of the very important question, that is what pistachios really are? In the end, what you read was a small account of the benefits of pistachios. We hope you found your answer here in this post! Comment, what you guessed about the real identity of pistachios below, and share our post with others who may find this breaking news interesting!

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1 thought on “Is pistachio a nut? (Tree nut or seed)

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