fruit trivia

October 16, 2008 7:15am CST
Why are pistachio nuts dyed red? In the 1930s people bought cashews, peanuts and pistachios from vending machines. Competition was hot among the nut purveyors, and those selling pistachios played a little shell game, dying their product a bright red to make it stand out. First they caught your eye, and then they messed up your hands as the dye transferred from the nuts to your fingers. The custom has held. In truth, pistachios needed some dressing up because, compared to other kinds of nuts, they were quite ugly. The nut pickers harvested pistachios from trees by knocking them off with poles. Then the nuts were tossed into burlap bags and later, their outside hull was ground off. By then they looked ready for the nut hospital. Say, maybe that red is really blood. Source: IMPONDERABLES: THE SOLUTION TO THE MYSTERY OF EVERYDAY LIFE by David Feldman
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