To be honest, the “crema di pistacchio” and I don’t have a “love at first sight” relationship. My brother brought us a jar with a greenish paste from his holidays in Sicily, which looked very weird to me.
My brother and his two friends stayed at a B&B in Piazza Armerina – a village in the south east of the island – towards the end of their trip and needed some last minute souvenirs to take home. The owner of the B&B “Umberto33” (www.umberto33.com) came to their rescue and showed them to his “enoteca” down the road, a shop where they sell mainly homemade, local deliciousness including wines. My brother chose the “crema di pistacchio” which was also served at breakfast in the B&B and which he got to love. My first, honest thought was: I could have done with a wine 🙂
According to my brother the spread is eaten on a slice of bread and has a very sweet, nutty taste. Hmmm, interesting. The souvenir was lying in our fridge for some time and we only opened it lately wanting to give it a try. And my god, it was good, really good! It made me feel the Southern Italian sun on my very white skin and dream of the salty breezes coming from the Mediterranean Sea. Bliss!
Pistachios are called Sicily’s green diamonds and I think I now know why. Compared to the world biggest pistachio producers (which are the USA and Iran), the cultivated area in Sicily is small, but it is – and has been for many generations – one of the most important agricultural products for the locals. The broadleaf trees can grow up to twelve meters and can get 300 years old. An outgrown tree produces 10 – 15 kilograms of pistachios every second year. In Sicily the conditions to grow pistachios are good especially due to the volcanic soil (from the infamous Aetna). In the end of September, the locals celebrate their green diamonds and according to them the best pistachio of the world, in a four-day festival called the “Sagra del Pistacchio”.
So this Sunday morning is actually a sad one as our jar is over and we got addicted to the sweet spread, which enlightened our mornings the last couple of weeks. So, what to do? Either we have to travel to Sicily any time soon with empty suitcases to bring as many jars as possible or we try to order some as the label promises “shipment all over the world”.
Apparently, Umberto’s liquors and wines are delicious too – I can’t judge (yet). Happy Sunday all!