When we went to Fresno to meet our friend Jeanne, we took her packages of nuts from Valley Pistachio, the shop we call Pistachio Heaven. We discovered Pistachio Heaven several years ago on a different trip to Fresno (we call it Fres-yes) and have stopped there ever since. They advertise with large signs along the freeway that count down the miles to their store, an old fashioned marketing gimmick that still delights me.
It's one of those shops that typify for me the best of American commerce. The pistachios are grown right near by, they package their own and the varieties and flavors increase every time we go - they are always trying out something new. The shop is immaculate and so is the little garden outside. They are friendly folk who share stories of their lives with us. They never fail to give Cora a pat as she waits patiently for us, tied to the front porch railing.
They are happy to ship nuts around the country, too, so we usually take a minute to choose some of their mixed varieties to send to friends or family back east. My Dad used to love getting his pistachios as a surprise. This time, we noted that they have expanded to a small winery on the property, too. They are enterprising people.
Anyway, this is what Jeanne brought us in return - heavenly avocados from her mother's tree in southern California. Fuertes, the very best. As much as we enjoy Pistachio Heaven, we know that we got the best end of that deal!