The Achaemenid people were the first who grew pistachio in ancient Iran
and exported this Iranian fruit to their neighboring countries more than
2500 years ago.
According to historical sources, this plant first grew in Khorasan and
Soghd regions, and no other people knew about it until the Achaemenid
In his book titled Iran From the Earliest Times To the Islamic Conquest,
Professor Roman Ghirshman has mentioned that the first pistachio trees
were first taken to Aleppo in Achaemenid era.
In Sassanid period, pistachio was among the most important cargo
exported from Iran to China. In this period, pistachio was considered a
delicatessen and mostly used baked and in cookies. There is a Pahlavi
text dating back to the Sassanid era that talks about Gorgani pistachio
that seemingly cherished a fame in that time.
Mohammad-hassan Abrishami, writer of the book The Iranian Pistachio,
believes that pistachio first grew in western Khorasan. Pistachio tree
was taken to other parts of Iran and the world after the Islamic
conquest of Iran by Muslims, and Qom was the first city that received
the tree and started growing it in 8th century.
Today pistachio is the second most important non-oil export product in
Iran after carpets. Comprising about 55% of pistachio production and
over 60% of its export, Iran competes against its most important rival,
the US, with an annual revenue of over 400 million dollars.