Rach is nuts for purple Sicilian pistachios. Here's what makes them so special.


A nut's a nut, right? Not if it's a Bronte pistachio, a Sicilian variety grown in the town of the same name. These emerald beauties with deep-purple skins are smaller, sweeter, and richer than other pistachios

sicilain pistachios
Credit: Photography by Getty Images

The secret's in the soil: Bronte pistachios are grown in the volcanic soil of Mount Etna according to strict rules. The trees are never fertilized or irrigated, and the nuts are hand-harvested once every two years. Also, the trees are pruned in off years to help concentrate the flavor. 

Sicilian pistachios aren't easy to find. Online retailers—like Gustiamo, Craft Butchers' Pantry, and Kalustyan's, which is Rach's fave—are your best bet. 

To make sure you're getting the real deal, look for the D.O.P. label (meaning the nuts come from a "Protected Designation of Origin"). And be prepared to spend some money. At about $4 to $5 an ounce, they're not called "Green Gold" for nothing!