When you look at our pistachio gelato in our March flavour, The Nutcracker, you'll notice it's a pastel brown with a very subtle tint of green.
Why isn't it a lurid green hue? Because we only use 100% real pistachio nut paste - no additives or colourings. Real pistachio nuts are not uniformly acid green. And when they're mixed with milk and cream to make gelato, the colour becomes even more subdued.
Most gelato makers will use some kind of pistachio paste to make their product. Generally, gelaterias do not make their own nut pastes, because to grind nuts into a fine enough texture to be used in gelato (we're talking microns here, not just millimetres) requires heavy industrial processing equipment.
So, gelato shops and manufacturers are generally limited to the types of paste available. The most common is a mix of pistachio, almond and chlorophyll (or other green food colouring). This is the colour and taste that most consumers are used to as the vast majority (probably upwards of 85%) of pistachio ice cream and gelato is made from this kind of product. Unfortunately, having been diluted with other nuts and colouring, the taste is the least authentic.
Then you have pure pistachio paste. This costs anywhere from double to five times as much as the first variety mentioned. Common places of origin include Iran, California and Italy - Sicilian pistachios are traditionally considered the most premium. Depending on the farming, roasting and processing, the nuts will yield different flavours.
We use a high quality variety from sunny California with a robust, nutty and sweet flavour, without any added colours, flavours or stray nut varieties. To quote award-winning food writer & entrepreneur David Leite: "Accept no less than khaki-colored gelato. Yes, khaki-colored. Those tubs of nuclear-green mounds whispering your name each summer are imposters. They’re artificially colored and too often laced with almond extract, kind of like inexpensive performance-enhancing drugs for the dairy set."