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National Pistachio Day

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

February 26th is National Pistachio Day.
Don’t ask, I just know.

My first experience with  the, “Happy nut” was on my first and only visit Monkey Jungle.  One summer in the late 50s my family took a vacation to Miami. It was a long hot drive without Interstates but my brother and I made the most of it. With no pesky seatbelts to restrain us, we had the entire backseat and the ledge above the back seat to play, fight and sleep. The highlight was Monkey Jungle.

The park had gumball machines filled with pistachios so you could feed the monkeys. My father gave my brother and me four nickels, two sticks of gum and some lint and told us to have fun. I tasted one of the bright red nuts after my brother told me I had to take the shell off first. It was delicious. Now it was one for the monkey, two for me then all for me. When I told my brother that we had to get more money from dad he started to laugh because he knew what was coming. My father wanted to know how we had gone through 20¢ worth of nuts so quickly.  I told him the monkeys were hungry. He did one of those things were he cocked his head to the left and raise the back of his right hand. The next words out of my mouth had to be chosen with care. It was at this point I could never lied to my father, because I didn’t want to know what happened next. Besides it became clear as my mother went into her purse for a hand-full of Kleenex, I had been caught red-handed and red-faced.

I digress. The pistachio and its health benefits. The pistachio has been shown to reduce the LDL or bad cholesterol. They are also a good source of protein and fiber.

This may sound nutty, but the pistachio can be used as part of a weight loss program.  This of course is due to the “Pistachio Principle” which pretty much says that the act of shelling and eating pistachios one by one slows down your consumption, allowing you to feel full faster after having eaten less. Learn more about this incredible edible at the Pistachio Health Website.

And by the way, “Monkey see, monkey do?” Not so much. Monkeys will pretty much do anything they want. I made a face at a monkey and rather than copy my expression the caged primate spat at me. They weren’t as kind to my brother.

Ciao For Now
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