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Aegina goes nuts at pistachio festival

- by Dabs Banner

The Greek holiday island of Aegina is famed for it pistachio nuts that grow in abundance right across the island.

Holiday visitors making the boat trip across the Saronic Gulf from Athens will find Aegina going nuts this weekend with its annual pistachio festival.

The 7th Aegina Fystiki Fest run from September 24-27 with an array of events and exhibitions to celebrate the famed Aegina pistachio or fystiki Aeginis.

The island pistachio is a favourite of chefs worldwide for its superior taste and island farmers will be touting their products at the trade fair held in the island's main port.

Holiday visitors can get a taste of the Aegina nut in all its glory, from the new crop and spoon sweets to pistachio-based pasteli and oils.

This year, Greek artists, sculptors and chefs will showcase their creations, inspired by the Aegina pistachio which is grown exclusively on the Greek island and now boasts a Protected Designation of Origin tag.

Other events include photo exhibitions, art displays, theatrical performances and tours of historic island sites.

Events draw to a close on Sunday with a display by the Aegina Port Authority's Marching Band.

The annual but festival was launched in 2008 to promote and support the cultivation of the unique pistachio.

The Aegina Fistiki Fest has grown into the largest commercial event in the region with more than 20,000 visitors browsing the scores of stalls and enjoying the many events.

The pistachio not only lends its unique taste and texture to many sweet and savoury gastronomic creations, it also inspires the artists and craftsmen making jewellery, pottery and other creations.

After all, Aegina is also known as the artists' island as it is home to hundreds of painters, sculptors, photographers and potters.

Many of the island's artists decorate their courtyards, gardens, halls and streets especially for the event while the exhibitions of contemporary ceramics at the Archaeological Museum and Aegina's traditional fish market are a big draw.

A full programme of events in English is published here on the festival website.

The island of Aeginais a popular Athens getaway as it is located in the Saronic Gulf only an hour's boat trip from the capital.