Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wonderful Pistachios Roasted & Salted Live Up To Their Name! (Things That Taste Like What They Are Volume X)

The Good: Great taste, Lack of defects, Surprisingly nutritious
The Bad: Still fairly expensive
The Basics: Wonderful Pistachios have me hooked as the most-affordable, non-bulk, brand of pistachios. Mmmmm . . . pistachios!

I recall, quite fondly, the first time I had pistachios. I was a Junior in high school, living away from my father for the first time in my life. I was dating a young woman who was tremendously jealous and when I was asked out to the Senior prom as a friend date, I had to turn my friend from an advanced class down. However, that did not stop me from attending a post-prom party with a bunch of Seniors at the house of another friend. I was specifically invited because that group of friends wanted a sober, geeky time. They also wanted to borrow some of my Star Trek: The Next Generation video tapes so they could play the Star Trek: The Next Generation drinking game. So, the group of us sat on the floor at . . . oh my gosh, I just had an epiphany while writing this! (More on that in a moment). Anyway, we sat around drinking soda and eating gourmet pistachios – I swear, the hostess had a 25 pound box of them. And I fell in love.

My love of pistachios grew from that point on. When I wrote my first novel, Within These Walls (reviewed here!), arguably the most lovable character in the book dies horribly as the result of pistachios (and a drunk driver). But what I just realized was that that character’s name shares the same initials as the young woman who first introduced me to pistachios! It might seem like an utter hogwash coincidence, but the character’s name is inorganically rendered, so some part of me subconsciously wanted (apparently) to pay homage to the young woman who first introduced me to pistachios.

Now, my wife knows that pistachios make an awesome gift for me and given that I have exhausted the catalogue of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans for review, I am branching out with other foods. For the winter holiday, my loving wife presented me with a bag of Wonderful Pistachios and a very cool t-shirt she won from registering with Wonderful on Facebook! So, I figured it was time for me to write about pistachios and I chose Wonderful Pistachios’ Roasted & Salted pistachios.


Wonderful Pistachios Roasted & Salted Pistachios are just as their name might suggest. These are deliciously roasted pistachio nuts, still in their shells, that have been lightly salted. The average pistachio in the 8 oz. bag my wife presented me with was 3/4” long and about 1/2" in diameter. The white shells are split and reveal the softer green nut inside. The incredible thing about the bag of Wonderful Pistachios my wife got me – and part of the reason they rate so highly with me when they are so expensive (especially compared with bulk bag or box purchases) – was that there was not a single pistachio shell that only had a tiny slit to try to force the shell open and there were no random shells. That meant that in the 8 oz. bag, there were no random shells without nuts in them and no random shell halves. Each shell had a nut and that is a very uncommon event when buying pistachios!

Ease Of Preparation

These are roasted nuts, so preparing them is as easy as opening the plastic bag they come in and cracking the shell open. Do not eat the woody shell! I have often rinsed my shells and used them for mulch! They work very well for that and, sadly, I have eaten so many pistachios in my life that I have been able to really mulch one decent-sized garden!


Wonderful Pistachios Roasted & Salted Pistachios have no real scent to them. They smell like salt and wood and that is pretty much how a pistachio in its shell ought to smell. Cracking the shell open yields no new smell, but reveals the beautiful green nut inside!

Herein lies the problem with trying to discuss the taste of pistachios. Pistachios are a unique nut. They taste like themselves and only themselves. They are a little more buttery than peanuts, but not as buttery in their flavor as almonds. Wonderful Pistachios accents the flavor of the regular pistachio nut with a gentle helping of salt and that enhances the flavor perfectly. It brings out the nutty undertone in the pistachio and, frankly, makes these even more addictive!


Obviously, these are salty snacks and the folks at Wonderful Pistachios do not intend for consumers to live on them. Even so, they are not terrible in the nutrition department. A serving is considered 30 grams without the shells, which translates to about 1/2 cup with the shells still on and the bag has about four servings in it. With the standard recommended serving size, the nuts have 14 grams of fat! That's 22% of the RDA of fat, with 8% of the RDA coming from the one and a half grams of saturated fat! While there is 4% of the RDA of calcium and six grams of protein, these are not chock full of nutrients. Even so, they gave potassium, a surprisingly low amount of salt (160 mg sodium) and nutrients like copper, thiamin and phosphorous!

The ingredients list for these pistachios is deliciously short. Wonderful Pistachios contain only pistachios and salt.


Just as with the preparation, Wonderful Pistachios Roasted & Salted Pistachios candies are low stress when it comes to storage and cleanup. Storage is simple when the nuts are kept in their bag at room temperature or cooler. Kept sealed in their resealable bag, these nuts would not expire until November 2012 (they will NEVER last me that long!).

Wonderful Pistachios are easy to clean up after as well. Simply throw away the shells and any husks or salt that is left may easily be wiped away with a damp cloth.


Wonderful Pistachios Roasted & Salted Pistachios are, easily, the best non-bulk pistachios on the market and they truly are wonderful!

For other snack reviews, please visit my takes on:
Tostitos Hint Of Pepper Jack chips
Pomegranate Craisins
Jell-O Chocolate Fudge Pudding


For other food and drink reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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