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They call it the green gold of Sicily. Itâs the green pistachio nut from Bronte, a busy town in the province of Catania, clinging to the flanks of Etna and with a view across to the Nebrodi Mountains and down to the slow flowing Simeto river. Itâs a special pistachio nut, emerald green in colour, and thrives on this lava-enriched earth, which gives it a strong and decisive taste.
The trees, in alternate years, are left to rest. Thus, every 24 months, as if it was an important festival day, all the people of Bronte get together for the traditional harvest, done strictly by hand. Between the end of August and the beginning of September in the Bronte area you can see, amongst the slopes of lava and in the countryside, the harvesters in action, each nut being individually picked and dropped into big sacks.
The Bronte pistachio is therefore rare and, for that reason, expensive: the harvest is slow and difficult, but the nuts have a special quality. Used in cooking, they give a wonderful taste; they flavor the salami made from the black Nebrodi pigs; they give a perfect colour to âgranitiâ and ice-cream; they embellish the almond paste cakes that are such a pleasure to eat.
A trip to discover the tastes of Sicily will bring you, inevitably, to discover the Bronte pistachio nut, which has become well-known the whole world over.