We are in beautiful Oman where the weather is hot, the streets are peaceful, the halwa delicious, the camels abundant, and the people generous and welcoming. In the Matrah area of the capital Muscat, you can find a very cool old market with all sorts of traditional items as well as something we’ve been looking for for a long time… delicious pistachios.
According to Wikipedia, Iran is the number one producer of pistachios in the world with the United States and Turkey behind. While we would like to go to Iran directly and try some of them there, a recent law by the US government is making it difficult to travel to Iran by retroactively canceling the electronic visa waiver for travelers who have been to, or going to Iran on or after March 2011 ! Until the love for pistachios is greater than the love for international disagreements, it is our pleasure to try Iranian pistachios in Oman for you and bring you another great and honest review.
There are so many pistachios here in Oman unlike in Asia or Central America. They are sold everywhere from the traditional markets, to the supermarkets even gas station shops in the middle of the desert.
Let’s dive into the first pistachios purchased from the Matrah Market and we will have different blog posts for the multiple pistachios we got our hands on in this beautiful and exciting country.
Packaging and Origin
There was a lot of choice in this nuts shop in the Mutrah market in Oman.. plain pistachios from Iran, lemon pistachios, salted pistachios, big salted pistachios, in additions to many other type of nuts… we pick salted big Iranian pistachios and full of excitement try to find our way out of the market streets which are full of beautiful things such as incense, perfumes, silver antiques, indian fabrics, canes, old typewriters, foodstuffs and all sorts of treasures that would take a long time to describe.
Nothing special to describe about the packaging, the shop worker asked for the weight and caliber desired (big Iranian chosen) and scooped up the awesome nuts into a sealed plastic bag with the name of the shop ( Hamed Bin Khamis Al-Farsy Trading ). The bag has a a little window and a picture of various nuts.
Big pistachios but not huge. Salty shells. Inviting. We’re in for a treat. Unshelled, they are green and purple and brown with salt covering the flaky outside layer.
The taste is where these pistachios shine. These are salty pistachios with a good medium crunchiness. The first unshelled pistachios had a taste that was way out of the ballpark of any pistachios we’ve tried so far. A unique flavorful and frankly interesting taste. A hint of cumin and paprika, almost like a Moroccan tagine.. we could not stop eating them.
Was the spice flavor intentional? The shop does sell some spices so that might be a possible source.. even a hint of lemongrass.. Did it have a super pistachioi taste, not particularly but a medley of spicy flavors and a great crunchiness give it a fantastic and unique taste. Perhaps we should review unsalted pistachios to give a more balanced description.
We give these pistachios our highest score so far 4.2/5
Are all iranian pistachios like this? Stay tuned to part 2 of our Oman pistachio reviews to find out as we continue traveling in this fantastic and interesting country.