Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Cracking pistachios


JAZ
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've been eating a lot of pistachios lately and once again have come up against the ubiquitous problem of how to crack open that handful of nuts that aren't opened. I ignore them as long as possible, tossing them back in the bag as I come across them, but the point comes when that's all that's left in the bag. When I was a kid, I cracked them open with my teeth, but now that I'm older, I value my dental work too much for that solution. A regular nutcracker (at least the one I have) is too big for these little guys -- they just slide out.

Any great ideas out there? Am I doomed to just throw them away?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If there is a little sliver of an opening I can use my thumbs/fingernails to eventually get them open, but if the shell is completely fused shut I treat them like mussels that never opened in the pot and throw them away.

Other than an xmas-themed toy solider nutcracker, I imagine you would have to use a hammer.

edit: grammar

Edited by therippa (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a major pistachio habit years ago and would occasionally use my molars but most often just pitched them. Too much force I thought would splinter them and I like mine whole. Luckily the "duds" were rare. My pistachios of choice were the Trader Joe ones.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A sturdy set of pliers always does the trick.

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You guys are more ambitious than me. I buy the shelled ones at my local middle eastern market or order them online.

My main reason is that the raw pistachios have NO salt and all the ones in the shell have been salted.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I usually put them on a chopping board and bash them with the bottom side of my mortar (not the pestle, the actual underside of the mortar bowl), which, with practice, I can generally wield with enough force to crack them but not enough to shatter them to smithereens. Have also used pliers with great effect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If there is a small opening use a shell from an already opened pistachio. Insert the pointy end into the opening and twist. It should pry it open.

This works well. During an extended pistachio session the other night, it was successful five out of six times.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...