A bowl of roasted & salted pistachios,

In my provincial ’70s British working-class childhood, nuts usually meant peanuts: plain salted peanuts, or, less often, in ‘monkey nut’ form. Around Christmastime there would be bowls of mixed nuts in their shells: hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts. And a nutcracker nearby. Occasionally one might have almonds. I daresay pecans and cashews have been available for much longer, but as far as I was concerned they may as well have not been invented until the mid-’80s.

Pistachios likewise weren’t a part of my formative snacking experiences. I don’t recall when I might have first tried them – possibly in my teens. Now they are my favorite of all the commonly-encountered nuts. The ones pictured above are some Tesco own-brand roasted & salted pistachios that I ate while working from home this morning.