Why Does Pistachio Ice Cream Taste Like Almonds?

Ice cream is a rich source of essential carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. You can eat ice cream to increase your energy levels because it offers good nutritional value. Pistachio contains high levels of potassium, fiber, unsaturated fatty acids, and minerals. So, when you make a pistachio ice cream, you can get a wide range of health benefits, including reduced blood sugar and blood pressure levels. But why does pistachio ice cream taste like almonds? Interesting question, isn’t it? 

Pistachio ice cream contains the same ingredients as regular ice cream. However, people add chocolate, mint chocolate chip, butter extracts, and other ingredients to develop the desired flavor. Generally, Pistachio ice cream has egg yolks, heavy cream, salt, vanilla extract, granulated sugar, evaporated milk, chopped pistachios, and green food coloring.

So the question is: why does pistachio ice cream taste like almonds? The quick answer is that it contains almond paste and extract. Let us now delve deep into this subject. Read on!

Lack of Pistachios in the Ice Cream

You will be surprised to know that most commercially made pistachio ice cream does not contain pistachio at all. Companies or shops add almond paste or extract to the ice cream. Even if they add pistachio as a primary ingredient, the almond paste fades its flavor. That’s why the ice cream tastes like almonds.


The Use of Almond Paste or Extract is One of The Reasons Why Pistachio Ice Cream Taste Like Almonds

Almond paste or extract has a different taste than whole almonds. The purpose people add the almond paste to the ice cream is because pistachios are pretty expensive than other dry fruits, including almonds, walnuts, etc. 

At the same time, it is pretty challenging to process pistachios for ice cream making. So, to save time and money, people add almond paste or extract to the remaining ingredients. 

Besides, some people are allergic to pistachios, and commercially made ice creams don’t want to compromise their reputation. That’s why they add bitter or sweet almond pastes in addition to benzaldehyde.

Almond Paste Mimics Pistachio Flavor

Research shows that almond paste mimics pistachio flavor. Bear in mind that almond paste or extract tastes different than whole almonds, whether they are nonpareil almonds, butte almonds, Carmel almonds, peerless almonds, or Sonora almonds. 

Some people use bitter almond extract to make pistachio ice cream, cake, cookies, and pudding. Many people use bitter almonds to boost the natural flavor of pistachio. However, this is a misconception. The strong flavor of almonds fades the savor and aroma of pistachios.

Pistachio has a Mild Flavor

In general, pistachio has a mild flavor with less sweetness. Although there are different kinds of pistachios, most types available in the U.S and Europe have piney, resinous, minty, and spicy flavors. 

In addition, the use of ingredients, such as milk, egg whites, water, sugar, whipping cream, groundnuts, and almonds further deteriorates the original flavor of unshelled pistachios. As a result, the taste of pistachio becomes subtler and gets lost in other flavors. 

Because almonds have compounds like Amygdalin, it causes bitterness, and the added sugar balances the taste. The lost flavor of pistachio due to Amygdalin makes the ice cream taste like almonds.

Why Does Pistachio Ice Cream Taste Like Almonds – Final Words

Pistachios are an excellent source of folate, salt, potassium, choline, vitamin E, riboflavin, vitamin K, calcium, and niacin. It is also rich in fiber, healthy fats, and antioxidants that promote your overall health and wellbeing. You can use pistachios in a wide range of food items, including desserts and ice creams. 

However, commercial ice creams have a small amount of pistachio and a large amount of almond extract or paste, making them taste like almonds. Therefore, if you want to achieve the true aroma, taste, and flavor, make sure you avoid almond paste in your homemade ice cream to achieve a buttery and smooth texture with an original pistachio taste. 

Although you can use store-bought pistachio flavor for your homemade ice cream, we recommend buying fresh pistachios and chopping them at home. The flavors available on the market contain preservatives and chemicals that can make your ice cream unhealthy. 

So, it is better to focus on eating homemade ice creams than buying commercially made products. If you want to get the best-tasting pistachios, buy the fresh ones. The matured/older ones have a musty and harsh taste, so even if you use a lot of pistachios in the ice cream, it will taste like almonds due to less sweetness and fatty content.

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