The other day, I went to the PX here and they were pretty much out of everything. Usually, I’ll buy some Planter’s pistachios, which are pretty good. No pistachios in stock. I didn’t know if the little Iraqi store had any, so I checked. This little store sells a variety of things, such as bootleg movies, a very few souveniers, and some food items. You can actually get olive oil and a number of other foods, such as dried lentils and chickpeas, dried tea, sweets, and some canned foods. Not really enough to cook on a regular basis.
I had previously tried some canned hummus from Jordan. It wasn’t that good, I have had far better hummus. There are Turkish biscuits with cocoa spread that are lovely, not overly sweet like American cookies always are. They did have pistachios and I tried a 200 gram can for $4.00. These were the best pistachios I’ve ever had and I have had pistachios in Turkey and Afghanistan, among other places. In Afghanistan, they were roasted not quite enough and were not quite as salty as I like. The Planters brand pistachios from the US are good, but could use a tad more salt.
These Iranian pistachios (where I am in Iraq is almost on the Iranian border) were packed by Nahal Pistachio Rafsanjan Agricultural Co., Tehran, under the Loura label. I would imagine that one can’t get Iranian goods in the United States. The Planters pistachios ingredients are pistachios and salt, pretty much what I remember all roasted and/or salted pistachios to be. These Loura pistachios had a nice bit of citrus flavor that I couldn’t place. It turns out that they use lemon juice, as well as salt. That seems to have made a huge difference. In the future, I will be on the lookout for pistachios with lemon juice as an ingredient.
Check out their web site: http://lourapistachio.com/