Those Friggin Tight Pistachio Shells


New Mexicans are extremely attached to their Pistachios. The two Pistachio nuts you see in the picture, purchased from McGinn Family Pistachio Tree Ranch, represent the two extremes found in the $50 five pound bag we purchased in Alamogordo NM.

Around 85% of the nuts found in the bag are like the easy to access nut on the left exposing the health promoting,lightly salted,green pistachio. The other 15% are called tights, industry parlance for a hard to open nut which drive pistachio lovers NUTS…..pun intended!

A hungry man will literally damage his fingernails trying to extract the nutrient rich pistachio fruit from its stubborn shell! You may wonder why McGinn’s packs any tights at all. I can only speculate that Mother Nature has some influence here. Its kind of like asking how come not every single banana is ripe in a bunch.┬áMoreover, it would be too labor intensive ┬áto expect McGinn’s staff to pluck out each of the tights in a high volume production process.

There is a simple solution to the “tight problem” eagerly divulged by by a fella calling himself TechShopJim(Jim Newton) out of Menlo Park,CA. Just use the tip of an already opened nut shell as sort of a lever to open the tight!

Oh dear…..I guess this is the time where I have to admit I used a small screwdriver for the job during one of my extreme hankerings! Oh well….nobody every branded me as dude with much common sense!


Accessible Pistachio Nut Versus Tight Pistachio Nut
Accessible Pistachio Nut Versus Tight Pistachio Nut

1 comment on “Those Friggin Tight Pistachio ShellsAdd yours →

  1. I have not verified personally, but have heard Heart of Desert down the road from McGinn’s has a 95% to 5% edible versus tight pistachio ratio. It has to do with how patient one is at harvest time. Maybe McGinn’s is rushing it at harvest time which might be why they are losing the hull adhesion battle to heart of desert winery

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