The Historical Search for Pistachio Flavor Yields World’s Greatest Works

Pistachios found in famed Mona Lisa & Stradivarius Violins

Gourmet De Ville has released their second installment of the history of the pistachio in their recent article, “The Pistachio Has Significant Impact on Italian History and Culture” which reveals a population infatuated with the little green nut. Gourmet De Ville writer, Stephen Arnold resumes the history of the pistachio with the birth of the Renaissance and the age’s most prized educational undertaking; alchemy or the practice of processing fruits and nuts into alcoholic liqueurs. According to Arnold,

“Italy’s alchemists took a keen interest in their country’s prized pistachio. Due to this fascination many historic innovations were developed thanks to the pistachio.”

mona lisa pistachiosThe pistachio flavor was highly sought after yet would not produce the same results in the production of alcohol. Instead the pistachio proved to be useful for providing essential ingredients for skin creams, diuretics and more. As technology advanced with the introduction of vials, beakers and tubes, the most difficult foods became possible to extract. The pistachio however, still proved to be a tricky undertaking as new extraction methods used on the nut resulted in turpentine.

“The most famous artistic innovation of the pistachio was the famed Mona Lisa. In preparing the wood panel for the paints Leonardo used for the Mona Lisa, he first treated the wooden board with pistachio-based turpentine.”

Stradivarius pistachios
Romantic recreation of Stradivari family creating violins
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Pistachio extract was used in another area of fine arts, specifically to produce varnish and wood glue for Stradivari family violins during the 17th and 18th centuries, which “made a lasting impact on music that endures today”.  The Stradivarius line of violins and cellos are commonly associated with excellence and unmatched sound quality.

Arnold closes with a mind-blowing realization that the highly sought after pistachio extract was not introduced to the market until the 20th century and yielded some pretty amazing creations, like Dumante Verdenoce Pistachio Liqueur. Products like Dumante were made possible thanks to the, “valiant innovations of Italy’s thinkers through the ages.”

Read the full article, “The Pistachio Has Significant Impact on Italian History and Culture” at Gourmet De Ville.

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