This was a large pistachio tree at Tell
Dan beginning to
sprout leaves in mid-March. Wild pistachio nuts were collected by poor rural people for use as food. Pistacia atlantica and pistacia terebinthus were both native to
Pistacia Atlantica at Tell Dan - Sept. 2003
The fruits were a bit like turpentine. I had read that some
people had eaten the seeds that were enclosed by the fruit. These
were nutty. There were also pistacia atlantica trees in the far
south, south of Beersheba/Beersheva in the Negev Highlands. Some
wandering out of Egypt towards and into these areas may have found the
tree provided leaves as fodder for small livestock and edible seeds in
I have also read that starving Bedouin nomads
wandering across the Sinai found juniper berries in the mountains and used
them as food during famines.
The pistacia vera was the
pistachio sold in stores in the US. It it is not native to Israel.