March 16, 2023
Even as delegates were gathering in Carlsbad for the 2023 Pistachio Industry Annual Conference, their specialty product was making headlines of a different sort.
“Pistachios are being touted as both the nut — and the color — trend of the year,” according to food industry leaders who acknowledged that pistachios were having their moment as the Top Nut of ’23 in the categories of taste and nutritional benefits — even their color and smell.
International Food consultants Baum + Whitman publicized pistachios among the Top Ten in their annual Trends Report: “We forgot to flag this last year, so we’re doing it now as we’re seeing more and more pistachio nuts on menus. Pistachios are replacing pine nuts in pesto dishes, combining the nuts with cheese as a tortellini filling, and as an ingredient in inventive Mexican moles. They’re also being used for color and creativity as a pizza topping and (combined with cardamom) are adding visual appeal to Danish pastry.”
“The surging popularity of these little green nuts are making them the hottest snack…and the healthiest,” sais Judy Hirigoyen, a vice president of the American Pistachio Growers.
The drought-tolerant high-desert plant, a source of complete protein, is being lauded for its health benefits. “Their healthy contributions — with a level of proteins usually found in animal protein — has also been credited with high levels of antioxidants. Researchers at Cornell University say they rival antioxidant levels found in blueberries, pomegranates, and red wine.”
While the nut itself basked in the most recent revelations, the folks who raise and process and ship and sell pistachios met to discuss industry status, everything from the global economic outlook and policies on maximum residue levels to nutrition management for yield and quality and historical trends of water use and the impact of SGMA restrictions.
And the discussions of last year could easily be brought forward to this year’s meeting, especially as they pertained to bud break, bloom, disease, and pest monitoring.
Bud break in southern San Joaquin Valley started March 19, 2022, with Kerman green appearing about a week later. Emeritus farm advisor Bob Beede advised: “Make notes on when buds break and blooms occur, helpful information on fruit set and how strung out harvest maturity might be.”
Other wise advice? “If it rains a quarter inch or more during bloom (this year’s deluges accomplished that…and then some), bring out fungicide to control Botrytis and reduce Botryosphaerie inoculum.”
Unpredictable weather notwithstanding, it’s also time to get out the beating trays and start looking for small plant bugs that can cause damage.
Annual statistics were released at the conference showing that California, producers of 99 percent of pistachios grown in the U.S., created $6.4 billion in economic rewards for the Golden state.
According to researchers, that represents the equivalent of some $17.6 million per day based on 2022 grower stats shown in several economic sectors. Spending by the state’s growers helped create 55,000 full-time equivalent jobs.“Money spent by growers and processors shaking green kernels from trees spreads throughout the economy, creating business activity throughout the state,” reported the researchers. “With every annual economic study, the numbers keep getting more and more impressive.”
Read more about:Pistachios
About the Author(s)
You May Also Like
Restoring forests, promoting beef biosecurityMar 31, 2023
9 steps to stay safe around pesticidesMar 30, 2023
Will South American weather spark corn market rally?Mar 30, 2023
WOTUS repeal bill goes to presidentMar 30, 2023