Make us your home page

Taste test: pistachio nuts

Most low-calorie snacks are sold in such small portions that we end up eating the whole box to satisfy a craving. That's usually not the case with pistachio nuts. These greenish tree nuts, originally from the Middle East, pack loads of flavor and high fiber in a 1-ounce serving. They are low calorie and have less fat than most nuts. Today, most of the pistachios we buy come from farms in California and Arizona. Our judges shelled their way through six brands of roasted, salted pistachio nuts. All were good and some were great.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent


(out of 100)
Wonderful 90Great Value 81Planters 74

Nice butter flavor and a smooth texture made these pistachios a top pick. Judges said the nuts had the perfect balance between "salty, chewy, crispy and roasted." One said, "This is an all-around great nut. I am fantasizing about turning it into pistachio ice cream — yummy!" Another judge liked the color of this nut. "It's nicely opened — like an open-mouth kiss from Marilyn Monroe when you see a little red/pink color," he said.These pistachios were plump and perfectly salted, judges said. Most of the brands were overly salty for our panelists. They liked Walmart's store brand for its subtle flavor. "These have a great bite," said one. Another said, "These pistachios give me the excellent memory of being in a town along the Greek coast."Judges appreciated the flavor of these nuts because they had plenty of salt but not the bitterness they tasted in some of the roasted varieties. "These are a nice sized nut with very good color," said one judge. "These would be great to have on the snack table at a summer barbecue." A couple of judges liked the Planters pistachios for their texture. "They also look pretty," added one.

they buy?
All five judges said yes.Four of the five judges said yes.All five judges said yes.
Shopping information$4.99 for a 10-ounce bag from Publix.$6.98 for a 16-ounce bag from Walmart.$7.19 for a 12.75-ounce bag from Publix.

Also Sampled: Archer Farms ($4.49 for an 8-ounce bag from Target, 68 points); Gold Emblem ($5.49 for a 12-ounce bag from CVS, 64 points); and the Fresh Market Organic ($7.99 for a 6-ounce bag, 35 points).

Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian; Wayne Conery, manager of the R-Bar on Treasure Island; Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island; Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620; and John Hehn, owner of All Brite Lighting & Power Design Inc. All foods were tasted blind.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, Tampa Bay Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or email them to Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to

Serving sizeHalf cupHalf cupHalf cup
Fat/Fiber14g / 3g14g / 3g13g / 3g
Sugars/Sodium2g / 160mg2g / 160mg2g / 180mg
Carbs/Protein8g / 6g8g / 6g8g / 6g

Taste test: pistachio nuts 06/11/13 [Last modified: Monday, June 10, 2013 2:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. MoviePass now offers unlimited movie watching in theaters for $10 a month, here's what you need to know


    There's now a service that says it will let you watch as many movies as you want for one monthly price: MoviePass. 

    MoviePass will let customers see up to one movie, every day, for $10 a month.
  2. Bright light! Bright light! There's really a script for Gremlins 3


    In the face of all that is unholy, it now appears there’s a finished script for Gremlins 3. This is what happens when you feed Hollywood after midnight.

  3. Opera Tampa names three guest conductors for 2017-2018 season


    TAMPA — Opera Tampa has named guest conductors for the 2017-2018 season, a move made necessary by the resignation of previous artistic director Daniel Lipton.

    Argentinian conductor Jorge Parodi will conduct Rossini's The Barber of Seville for Opera Tampa, Feb. 2 and 4, 2018. Courtesy of the Straz Center.
  4. 'License to Drive' reboot? Another DUI for Hollywood


    The ‘80s remake that REALLY nobody wanted is on its way: License to Drive, the lightweight comedy that starred the two Coreys, is being rebooted with female leads.

  5. Pasco Events for Aug. 18-24


    19 Saturday

    Eating Disorders Anonymous: This new group is for those wishing to recover from an eating disorder. Meetings are weekly. The contact is Pam Reitmeier at 10 a.m. No dues or fees. The A-Club, 18922 Titus Road, Hudson. (813) 731-3646.

    21 …