Pistachios Anyone?

Dear Friend,

Many thanks for the pistachio nuts. We were delighted to read on the package that the number in a single serving is 22. For some reason, it is hard to eat less.

We opened them before a family dinner with a friend from out of town, and he did away with 43 while hardly pausing in a fervent discourse on the state of contemporary music. He needn't have apologized, since we were all cracking away like famished castaways.

I've forgotten how he explained the recent return to tonality, but I do remember the sound of splitting shells and the piles rising like tallies of who had how many.

The struggle to get at the shriveled nutmeats only makes pistachios more delectable. Too bad if you get a tamper-proof shell that has not sprung open in the roasting.

Some mild-mannered folks attack with their teeth. I prefer a blunt instrument. This risks damaging the contents, or possibly a bystander. A glancing blow will shoot a pistachio across a room. A week after we finished yours, I found one under the toaster.

I first fell for pistachios as a child at a soda fountain. Green ice cream? Yes, it's new, it's pistachio, two scoops for 7 cents. It seemed quite exotic at the time. Tasted a little like perfume. Not many actual pistachios in it.

I believe they came only from Asia then, where the Pistacia vera originally grew. Now, like everything else in the world, they grow in California.

At a party the other night, I found my hand in a huge bowl of pistachios, nice smooth ones without shells. Good. But not the same. I could have swept up 22 at a time, and maybe did. Too sybaritic.

The true shells-on pistachio experience demands work for every morsel of paradise. Talk about virtuous gluttony. Thanks again. I'm not sure if the pistachio is our absolutely favorite nut, but you certainly are.

All good wishes,

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