The Pistachios of Aegina, Greece: The cultivation of pistachios started on Aegina in around 1860 and then it expanded to Athens and the rest of Greece. However, the pistachios of Aegina are the most famous and they are considered as extremely high-quality products. The main variety that is cultivated on the island is the koilarati pistachios, which have a round shape. Most of the fields are placed on the western side of the island, because this area is more fertile and less mountainous than the eastern side.
The cultivation process lasts for the whole year. In November, the trees lose their leaves and remain bare until the end of March. Then the pollination starts and wind transfers the pollen from the male trees to the female ones. The pistachio trees blossom in April and then the nuts start to grow. The harvest time starts in August, when the nuts come out of their shell easily, and extends till the end of September. The products are collected with a special, long stick and they are sent to the hulling machines as quickly as possible in order to avoid the shells to turn black, which makes the nuts commercially useless.
Pistachio trees are so popular on Aegina mainly because the soil is appropriate for the cultivation of this product. These nuts are known for their flavour and aroma. In fact, apart from being one of the main characteristic products of Aegina, they are considered among the best pistachios in the world and Aegina pistachios are protected by the EU from pistachios of other regions.