Made some pistachio cookies to celebrate Pistachio Day and thought of our great grandfather – a colporteur, an itinerant peddler who picked up trade goods portside in Italy and traversed the Alpine Passe to bring us the goodies in France. Our family colporteur sold haberdashery but others sold foods like the ancient delicacy, pistachio, a fruit famously adored by Queen Sheeba in Persia and known in the region since 6000 BCE. Alas, when pistachios were finally brought to Europe with the Levant trade in the 16th century, they were sold by a misnomer – Latin Penny Nut – which explains how we now think of the pistachio as a nut instead of a fruit.
Importing goods here in London must have been tricky back in the day but thanks to links like the undersea channel tunnel, modern-day colporteurs now deliver us the things we need and want every day. And while the feel-good that was around the time the tunnel was completed may have vanished, we still call the tunnel by its affectionate portmanteau of the time, Chunnel. So I’m making *pistachios cookies for colporteurs official – they’re a delicious, healthy, easy-to-make and 100% gluten-free way to bring back connect-the-world colporteur vibes. The colporteur descendants here downed them in a heartbeat. Contains nuts. Or not, especially if you’re Queen Sheeba.
Happy National Pistachio Day!
*Pistachio cookies created by third culture kid Dini at #theflavorbender.com: https://www.theflavorbender.com/quick-and-easy-italian-pistachio-cookies/