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    1. #1
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      Oh Wise, All-Knowing Lab Board, How The Heck do You Shell Pistachios?

      I have discovered Garlic Scape Pesto. It calls for pistachios. It's SO GOOD I've made four batches. Thank you neighbour who grows garlic and gave me scapes in trade for hostas. But, no kidding, my right index finger and left thumb are sore and there's blood under both nails where pulling the darn shells apart pulled my nail away from the digit. Only 1/3 cup pistachios per recipe too, but now I've shelled enough for one and 1/3 cups.

      Bulk Barn has shelled pistachios but the darn things are more than twice the price of unshelled ones. Probably they hire slave labour to shell them the same way I did. They were not roasted or salted and since that's what I used first and it was SO GOOD I thought it better not to change. But is there a trick to shelling them?

      Here's the recipe I followed, added nearly all the juice of half a lemon as per my friend who told me about garlic scape pesto in the first place. If you try this, I did the water thing with the 2/3 cup of pesto but I think next time I'll skip the water and put all the pesto on the spaghetti. We had pesto on baked potatoes last night and tonight, YUMMMMMMMM.

      Pasta with Garlic-Scape Pesto recipe | Epicurious.com

    2. #2
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      I've killed my fingers shelling pistachios for granola before. It is painful and time consuming plus you have to get the papery inner skin off, too. Now I get them shelled at Trader Joe's. They sell them raw and unsalted. It would be nice if you could buy only what you need but it made me not want to make the granola, so I caved to convenience.


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    3. #3
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      Yup shelled pistachios are a great example of cost being worth my time. I get them at Costco.


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    4. #4
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      They were +$27 a pound. The shell on ones were +$11 a pound.

    5. #5
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      Be interesting to weigh the total pistachio with shell on and then the nut alone. How much of the unshelled one is wasted?



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    7. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by Kleb View Post
      Be interesting to weigh the total pistachio with shell on and then the nut alone. How much of the unshelled one is wasted?
      That was exactly what I was about to say. If you pay $11 for a pound with the shell on but only get 9 ounces of useable nut meat, that changes the pricing equation. I haven't tried that in real life, just in my head. And I figured someone has probably tried that, so I looked it up. This is just one of the first results, I didn't do an exhaustive search!

      Which is the better deal: 2 lbs of shelled pistachios for $14.98 or 3 lbs of in-shell pistachios for $15.98? - Quora

    8. #7
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      To shell a pistachio, first pry one apart. Then, take the half shell, insert it into the opening of the next nut and turn it like a key to open. Then repeat. This saves your nails.

    9. #8
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      Feel your pain. I get the shelled from the "nut man" at the monthly flea market. Certainly not inexpensive but the kids love them - shelled, roasted, unsalted. Got expensive sending them to GS when he was overseas but the crew loved them.
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    10. #9
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      I never shelled them for a recipe.

      But...and I hate to admit this....when eating them one-by-one, I used my teeth to pry off one side. Oh, dumb. I now have veneers on those front teeth. (Full disclosure: I also used to use my front teeth to cut thread if scissors weren't handy.)

      And nowadays, I buy my nuts shelled!
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    11. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by smartrock View Post
      That was exactly what I was about to say. If you pay $11 for a pound with the shell on but only get 9 ounces of useable nut meat, that changes the pricing equation. I haven't tried that in real life, just in my head. And I figured someone has probably tried that, so I looked it up. This is just one of the first results, I didn't do an exhaustive search!

      Which is the better deal: 2 lbs of shelled pistachios for $14.98 or 3 lbs of in-shell pistachios for $15.98? - Quora
      That's about what I got just now for weight too. I shelled enough for one cup for my recipe last night and the meat weighs 4.5 oz. We ate some too, of course, so I removed a guessed at amount of shells from the bowl we put them in and got 4.3 oz. for the shells alone. This is close, I think.

      So, one cup of whole nuts with shell = 8.8 oz and at $11/lb cost me $6.05. The same price for the meat alone since I had to buy the shells to get the meat at this price.

      One cup of nut meats alone = 4.5 oz and at $27/lb would cost me $7.59.

      With shell is a bit cheaper but doesn't account for my fingers. The shelled price doesn't account for the lack of salt and roasting. Or, as the link mentions, quality decrease due to spoilage from lack of protection from the shell. We don't count the lack of protection from the shell when buying many other nuts, peanuts, almonds, pecans, cashews, so maybe it's not a big concern.

      Quote Originally Posted by BogeyBaby View Post
      To shell a pistachio, first pry one apart. Then, take the half shell, insert it into the opening of the next nut and turn it like a key to open. Then repeat. This saves your nails.
      That didn't work very well and was much, much slower.


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