Many pistachios claim to come from Bronte, Sicily. Ours really do.
Our pistachios come from the Caudullo family. They’ve been in the pistachio business in Bronte since the 1950’s.
Meet Nunzio Caudullo. He runs the Antonino Caudullo pistachio company and he is the the president of the Bronte Pistachio Slow Food Presidia. Nunzio has been in the pistachio business all his life. The pistachios that he works with are both in the Slow Food Presidia and protected by the DOP designation.
Last time we talked to Nunzio, he explained the qualifications for being considered a REAL Bronte Pistachio. They are quite rigorous:
- Real DOP Slow Food Presidia pistachios can’t come from just anywhere in Bronte, they can only come from specific designated areas. Keep in mind that Bronte is a tiny comune. It’s only about 100 square miles big with about 19,000 inhabitants. So, we are talking about a VERY limited area for growing pistachios.
- Real Bronte Pistachios are harvested biannually. During the off year when the pistachios are not picked, the buds are pruned to strengthen the plant. For more on this, read about biennial pistachios, here.
- After Bronte Pistachios are harvested, they are dried in the sun for 2 days.
To help put the Bronte pistachio situation in context, Nunzio also talked to us about some of the world’s other pistachios. Big global producers of pistachios are Iran, Turkey and Spain. Unfortunately sometimes the pistachios from places like these are imported into Bronte and sold fraudulently as real Bronte pistachios.
But really, there is no second guessing a real Bronte pistachio. The color, the taste, and the aroma are very distinct. The sweetness of the Bronte pistachio is much more intense than any other pistachio in the world. In fact, the price reflects this and Nunzio says that there is no comparison in prices: DOP Slow Food pistachios are much more expensive, that’s why there is such an interest in counterfeiting them.
Nunzio also reminisced a little bit about old, classic Brontesi recipes that he grew up with like filletta al pistacchio (pistachio sponge cake), olivette al pistacchio (little balls of ground pistachios and sugar). In fact, Master Pastry Chef Corrado Assenza from Caffe’ Sicilia says these are the best pistachios in the world for his pastries and sweets.
Gustiamo imports Nunzio Caudullo’s pistachios with our regular shipments from Caffe’ Sicilia. You can also find these pistachios in Corrado Assenza’s torrone. And also Marco Colzani uses them in his Pistachio Spread.