pistachiosI sure like nuts and today I’d like to talk about one of my favorites: Jim Carrey. No, wait. Not that kind of nut. I’m talking about the kind you can eat. (Hmmm… although, technically, I suppose Jim Carrey is edible.)

Today’s nut is the pistachio and in my book it’s second only to the absolutely perfect cashew. (My third favorite nut is peanut butter.) Nuts are good. Nuts are tasty. Most nuts have good oils and some even come with the always-popular antioxidants.

However, nuts have a dark side too: calories. If you look up “calorically dense” in the dictionary, you’ll find a picture of Jim Carrey. Or me. (Yeah, it’s probably me, now that I think about it.)

But that’s what gives the pistachio such an edge over cashews and peanut butter: the shells. You actually have to work at pistachios. You simply can’t eat them by the shovelful. As an experiment, I decided to see how many of each type of nut I could eat in a fixed amount of time. The idea was to eat each type of nut for six straight hours, then add up the calories. Cashews came out on top. I ate fourteen palettes of them for a grand total of five billion calories. Peanut butter was a close second at around four and a half billion calories. But pistachios? I could only get through one measly bag. And on top of that, I had to leave about a tenth of them behind since they were severely unopenable and I kept breaking fingernails and teeth trying to get at the meat.

pistachio-messSeriously, though, they are good and it’s a lot harder to go overboard with them. For a few weeks this summer, I took to eating them for breakfast in the car on the way to work. The only real downside to this plan was arriving to work each day like this…

But let me tell you, it’s a small price to pay for these yummy, crunchy, little antioxidants.