Greece is mostly associated with holidays, beautiful beaches, good food, olives and feta cheese, but Greece is also known for pistachios. It’s not that familiar with us, but Greece is first in Europe and sixth in the world for pistachio exports.
Here’s an idea of what you shouldn’t miss while in Greece, but also to bring to your friends in Serbia - pistachios from Aegina that are considered the best in the world. You can buy them in supermarkets and local markets.

Why are pistachios from the Greek island of Aegina so good?

While pistachios are grown around the world, the varieties located in Aegina, called coilarati, are very rare and extremely tasty. The vast majority of the island’s pistachio trees are on the west side, where the soil is dry and rich in limestone. It is precisely the lack of irrigation, proximity to the sea and the unique composition of soil on the island that help create a unique taste of egin pistachios.

Pistachios from Aegina differ from other varieties in that they have a sweeter, more complex flavour that doesn’t require salt or other flavours and makes them the perfect snack. Due to its unique qualities and cultural significance, pistachios from Aegina have been declared a product with a protected origin mark from the European Union since 1996.

Greece, meanwhile, is Europe’s largest exporter of these nuts and the sixth largest in the world.

Interestingly, pistachios are actually tree seeds. They are made of pistachios, which are quite small and edible. As they mature, a hard shell of pistachio seeds miraculously pops up inside the fruit, suggesting it’s time to harvest. Pistachio trees bloom in April, when fruits start to grow and are ready to harvest in August. When pistachios are ready to be collected, almost all islanders are involved in harvesting using a special long stick that knocks down small fruits.

Aegina produces about 800 tonnes of pistachios a year, and they are a fundamental part of island culture. More than half of the island’s inhabitants are members of the pistachio cooperative, which was founded in 1947.
The island of Aegina is just 17 miles from the Greek capital of Athens and is the jewel of the Saronic Gulf. Has anyone visited this island and tried these pistachios?

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