Why are pistachios so expensive?

Why are pistachios so expensive?

We all know the temptation of cracking and eating pistachios while watching a movie, or maybe just for a simple snacky-snack. Pistachios are delicious, healthy – and if it weren’t for the fact that they were so expensive, we probably would not be able to stop ourselves from eating them. They’re so good, you don’t even notice when the whole batch is gone. But why are they so expensive?

Well, the big reason for that is that pistachios are not as easy to cultivate. A pistachio tree takes about 15-20 years of growth until the moment it becomes full-bearing – and even so, it can produce only about 50lbs of pistachios per year. As compared to Brazil nut trees that produce about 250lbs of nuts every year, the pistachio harvest is rather small.

To this, you may add the fact that pistachio trees can only grow in areas that have hot summers and cool winters. This means that other than in Turkey, Iran, and California, you may not be able to find these trees. Pistachios are also very difficult to be sorted by machine, which increases manual labor. Of course, you would have to pay for that as well.

This would not be a problem if the trees produced pistachios every year, but instead, they have an alternate bearing – meaning, they only grow pistachios every other year. One year they have high bearings, other years they may barely have any bearing – and this lowers the production of pistachios.

Pistachio trees also need a lot of water to be grown, so whether the country is going through a drought or not, you need to be able to provide the water. Considering the limited resources and the manual labor that goes into tending to just one pistachio tree, it is understandable why these delicious nuts are so expensive.

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