Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Oct 13, 2004 03:28 PM

Absolute Best Pistachios On Earth!

  • j

For years I have done driving trips around the U. S. and Europe on business. I have long been a sucker for any sign that claims "world's best" of anything whether ice cream, hamburgers, bbq or....pistachios. On trips like this I have occasionally discovered some truly delicious food that I might not have otherwise even heard of.

In August I found myself on US 54 which is a truly obscure highway that wanders through rural New Mexico passing through the samll town of Alamagordo. Just outside the city I passed the Eagle Ranch Pistachio Groves. A sign heralded my approach proclaiming "Home of the original chili flavored pistachios!"

I stopped, went into the little store and bought a collection of one pound burlap bags ("Heart of the Dessert" is their name) of home grown pistachios. Some were unsalted and roasted in the shell. Some were green chili flavored, others were garlic and green chili flavored, still others red chili flavored. There was even lemon lime flavored pistachios. All of these were roasted in their shells.

When I returned home several days later several friends and I started munching on them. Whoa! I cannot tell you how deliciously addictive these were! They were larger, nuttier if you will, than any other pistachio I have ever had. The ones seasoned with green chili and garlic are just incredible! The red chili are almost over the top, too!

Below I have linked their website. I have no interest in this company and do not know anyone there. I just have a passion for pistachios (re: post on gorgonzola dolce toasted pistachio risotto recipe rom several years ago). I also just received ten pounds (!) of their pistachios which I ordered off of the internet which I bought for myself and some friends. If you have to limit yourself to one taste, and like spicy food with mild heat, try their green chili and garlic.

They are all seriously good!


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The picture of a waving Peppy Pistachio alone made the website worth visiting.

    As I recall, Alamagordo was the area of many atomic bomb tests. Perhaps it's the secret ingredient?


    1 Reply
    1. re: Bob Martinez

      The White Sands Proving Ground is literally just down the road. When I was there I couldn't help but think of "giant mutant pistachios!"

    2. These are quite good-- there's a native american products catalog (Spirit of the West?) that also sells them. My husband is a pistachio nut, and he loves all the varieties, although he also likes the plain ones from Sunnyland Farms in Georgia that his mama buys him at Christmas. I've never tried their confections, but their dried fruits, pecans and cashews are wonderful. You can't see it on the website, but the print catalog is full of pictures of the employees who've all worked there for a bajillion years.


      3 Replies
      1. re: emdb

        Thanks for the link but Sunnyland Farms does not grow their own pistachios. What they call "colossal" look exactly like the New Mexico ones. Has your husband tasted both to see if there's any difference?

        1. re: Joe H.

          "They're just as good!" he says. I can't tell-- I hate pistachios. I'm an almond/cashew/pecan gal.

          1. re: emdb

            Props to Sunnyland Farms. Their candied pecans and pecan pralines are incredibly good--they were the absolute most coveted gift at my family Christmas last year. The flavor notes are pure butter and brown sugar (not crisco and corn syrup), and yet they provoke the same compulsive must-have-another reaction as some Elvis-y unmentionable like a Moon Pie. Not an adult dessert, but a superb one.

      2. Thanks for the tip - I just ordered three pounds!

        1 Reply
        1. Thanks for the link. As interested as I am in ordering their pistachios, I'm really interested in the risotto recipe you refer to. Any chance you could post it or let me know how to get a hold of it? Thanks.

          6 Replies
          1. re: SAJ

            This is from April 9th of 2002. Between this post and several others I would guess there have been 150 responses over the two + years. Many have made it. If you do, contrary to the many posts that note my inflexible attitude there are still those who insist that I have exaggerated in the recipe. I have not. Forgive my tone but make it EXACTLY the way I insisted in this post. Please. No matter how fattening you think it will be. And, yes, it is that fattening! In fact more so. I once calculated there just north of 6,500 calories in this! This is really a recipe that will serve 12 to 16! One more point: if possible use Mauro gorgonzola dolce which is the best dolce I have found in the U. S.


            1. re: Joe H.

              Joe, thanks so much, it sounds absolutely incredible!
              Since you said to follow the instructions to the letter, I consider myself fortunate to already have the All Clad 3 1/2 qurt sauce pan. Unfortunately, I've been having a hard time finding really good gorgonzola dolce and had pretty much stopped looking. Now, however, you've reinspired me.

              1. re: SAJ

                The keys are the arborio and the dolce as well as the reggiano. You can buy all of this online. Also, Wegman's sells Mauri Gorgonzola dolce in some of their stores as does Balducci's. On the West Coast I've found it in San Francisco at A. G. Ferraro's. (From memory, I may be misspelling this.) For all of the people who swear that there is too much cheese/not enough stock/too much butter, etc. They are wrong. This is incredibly rich. You'll probably, realistically, get 8 large portions out of this that will stuff anyone. I've done the same amount for parties and got 20 portions. It's also good cold, its texture is like butter. (Of course it should be!)

                  1. re: Joe H.

                    Got all the ingrdients except the "best on earth" pistachios (no patience to wait for them before making the risotto). We're really excited about making this risotto tonight and then having the weekend to recover from all the cheese and butter. I promise you we won't skimp on any of the ingredients! Thanks again.

                    1. re: SAJ

                      Good luck-please post your thoughts on here afterwards.

            2. a
              Amin (London Foodie)


              If you are a sucker for ''World's best'' I think
              the best pistachios ever come from Iran or
              Mozambique. In the old days the Iranian pistachios
              were branded as ''Aria'' however as it referred to
              the old royals, this brand I believe is no longer
              in existance.

              The Mozambican pista's on the other hand, which I
              used to get in the 80's have, according to my info,
              all but disappeared due to Government control, lack
              of marketing, and lack of resources (They didnt have
              the basic tins, or burlap bags at one time to pack the
              material in).

              Now here is a deal I am prepared to make with you,
              and it is not a sales pitch, but a simple trade off.

              I will send you a selection of various Nuts & Savoury
              snacks from UK that will probably blow your mind.
              Stuff that I am told goes brilliantly with beer, and
              as I do not drink, I cannot vouch for it. In return,
              you send me some of your pistachios in an envelope
              to try out. The parcel will be marked as 'gift of
              no commercial value' so that the beagles at your end
              do not compact it into smithereens (hopefully !!!)

              5 Replies
              1. re: Amin (London Foodie)

                Please contact me directly at my e-mail above.

                1. re: Amin (London Foodie)

                  Sorry, didn't realize that you included your email above.

                  1. re: Amin (London Foodie)

                    I really appreciate the offer and now, having spent 30 minutes researching Iranian pistachios, believe that I can find them here! D. C. has a large Persian population. Also, on one website, the European Union was threatening not to let them in because there was a possible link to cancer! Serious!

                    Let me see if I have any success in finding them. I'm really just on a pistachio kick right now and appreciate the offer.


                    1. re: Joe H.
                      Amin (London Foodie)

                      No problem Joe. Appreciate your info.
                      I had not heard about Iranian pistachios
                      having any link with cancer however believe
                      that about 3 or 4 years ago a substantial
                      consignment was disallowed for entry in Europe
                      due Aflatoxin levels (or something similar).

                      1. re: Joe H.

                        From what I recall, the pistachios from Iran were indeed superb, but apparently they began to slowly decline in quality around the time the country decided to Get The Shah On The Road, and pistachios from California took their place. It is good to hear about the place in New Mexico as well.

                        I also visited Greece in the early 1990s and remember that the pistachios sold on some of the islands were quite delicious as well, though not particularly huge.