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What is Bronte's Pistachio?

The town of Bronte, on the slopes of Mount Etna in the Catania region of Sicily, is home to the prestigious Bronte Pistachio. This pistachio is exceedingly rare, accounting for only a minuscule portion of global pistachio production. Because of the nature of this particular pistachio, with its diminutive size and concentrated color, it is sometimes referred to as smeraldo​ (emerald) or ‘green gold.’

venchi pistachio bronte sicily

The Bronte Pistachio is only produced in the town of Bronte; this distinction was formalized by the European Union in 2009 with the formation of a Protected Designation of Origin certificate. This PDO (also known as a DOP, or Denominazione di Origine Protetta​​) certificate dictates that a product existing under such a certificate must be entirely produced and manufactured within the named region. These official certificates, also common with other products like wine and cheese, help protect both the producer and the customer from fraudulent products. Because of this E.U. protection, products claiming to be Bronte Pistachios must come exclusively from this region in Sicily.

Bronte Pistachios are not just desirable for their color; their flavor and texture are vastly different from pistachios grown in other parts of the world! The pistachio trees in Bronte grow in the volcanic soil of Mount Etna, where their deep roots can anchor the plant into the ground among the rocky terrain. These hearty trees draw their resources up through this soil, never relying on irrigation that would dilute the flavor of the pistachio. Pistachios grown in the Middle East or California do not have the same soil or terroir​, the combination of natural elements that contribute to a food’s characteristic taste and aroma. 

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