Each pistachio nut weighs around 1 gram, and each pistachio tree averages around 50 kg of nuts, or around 50,000, every two years. Pistachios (as part of the pistacia genus) have existed for about 80 million years. The word pistachio is a Persian loanword, coming into English through Italian, and is a cognate to the Modern Persian word پسته “Peste.

The kernels are often eaten whole, either fresh or roasted and salted, and are also used in ice cream and confections. Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 40 per day of most nuts, such as pistachios, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.