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The volcanic soils and the special microclimate are the secret of Bronte's highly sought-after pistachios. Here, at an altitude of between 400 and 900 metres, the pistachio tree finds the ideal conditions it needs for healthy and abundant growth - and which make its fruit so unique.

In the municipalities of Bronte, Adrano and Biancavilla on the western slope of Mount Etna, 90 percent of all Italian pistachios are grown. That is around 3,600 tonnes, produced on a good 3,400 hectares. Since 2009, they have carried the protected designation of origin "Pistacchio Verde di Bronte DOP". Their emerald green colour, their intense, irresistible fragrance and the fine, substantial and long-lasting flavour make these pistachios a unique delicacy. Local bakers and confectioners are true masters at turning them into delicious desserts, ice creams and pastries. Bronte's pistachios are also so precious because they are harvested exclusively by hand and also only every two years. In the years in between, the trees take a break, they are pruned and do not produce any fruit. In this way, they can build up sufficient reserves again for the formation of particularly rich pistachios in the following year.

If you want to sweeten the time until the upcoming Etna holiday a little, you can let off steam at home and try out, for example, this intensely tasting pistachio ice cream based on the recipe by Massimo Caraci of the Bar Roma in Bronte.


Gelato al pistacchio di Bronte


  • 100 g of Bronte pistachios
  • a quarter of a litre of milk
  • three egg yolks
  • 10 g sugar
  • 350 ml fresh cream
  • a pinch of vanilla


Lightly roast the pistachios and chop them as finely as possible. Add the heated milk and leave to infuse for half an hour. Whisk the egg yolks with fine sugar until creamy. Then add the milk-pistachio mixture and the vanilla. Heat the mixture over a low heat, stirring constantly, without letting it boil. As soon as the mixture starts to firm up, add the cream, mix everything well and put it in the ice cream maker.

Another wonderful recipe for pistachio biscuits is recommended by Sicilian cookbook author Cettina Vicenzino in her book "Sicily in my Kitchen".
©Cettina Vicenzino

Paste di pistacchio

Makes about 12 pieces. Preparation time 20 minutes, plus cooling time.


  • 120 g icing sugar, plus more to work with
  • 140 g pistachio kernels, preferably from Bronte, finely crushed in a mortar
  • 30 g egg white (from about 1 egg, size M)
  • 60 g wheat flour (Tipo 00 or type 405)
  • a little lemon zest
  • 5-7 drops mandarin oil
  • 5-7 drops bitter almond oil
  • 200 g pistachio kernels, preferably from Bronte


Mix all ingredients except 200 g pistachio kernels and knead with your hands to a compact dough. Leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 180 °C (top/bottom heat). Line a baking tray with baking paper. Spread plenty of icing sugar on a work surface and form 2 rolls (about 2.5 cm Ø) from the dough.

Then cut these into pieces about 6 cm long and gently press each one into the pistachio kernels with one long side. Round the tops and bottoms of the biscuits slightly, space them out on the baking tray and bake for 10 minutes on the middle shelf of the oven.

Remove the pistachio biscuits from the oven and keep them will enough to cool before eating.

"Sicily in my kitchen" ©Cettina Vicenzino

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