|Detail from image by Kreg Steppe (flickr)|
Pistachios are an extravagance I don't partake of as often as I'd like, but still, this news sends a chill down my spine ... then back up, over, and down my gullet.
In California’s blazing hot San Joaquin Valley, millions of pistachio trees are now buried in clusters of small pinkish-green fruits — what would seem like a bumper crop.
But for many growers of the popular nut, the season is shaping into a disaster. Jeff Schmiederer, who farms 700 acres of family-owned pistachio trees on the western side of the San Joaquin Valley, says about 90 percent of the nuts he has sampled from his trees are hollow — what growers call “blanks.”
“I’ve never seen a year this bad for blanks,” says Schmiederer, who has been farming pistachios since the mid-1990s.
Gullet. That's one of those words that feels archaic, but underused. Like maw, the gaping maw of a man about to devour a bag of pistachios.