Hello Pistachio Pals!

By: ray.perry : August 13, 2013

My name is Crystal, and I’m the newly crowned Miss California 2013. This year was my third attempt at the crown, and after two years of watching Noelle and Leah traverse the globe with the American Pistachio Growers, I’m ecstatic that I have this chance to be an American Pistachio Ambassador. Moments after I was crowned, Leah gave me the American Pistachio and pistachio-colored jewelry to kick my year off right!

I was raised in a Chinese-American household that loves to snack on nuts and seeds during family get-togethers, especially during Chinese New Year. After dinner at my grandparents’ house, all would gather around a circular table to drink tea and crack open nuts while laughing over stories. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds were popular among the adults, but my favorite has always been the pistachios. Since they were the only nuts I could manage to crack open without breaking (sunflower and pumpkin were too delicate for my clumsy, 8-year old fingers), I became an expert at snacking on them. I loved the hands-on, tactile experience of handling pistachios, and I came to crave the salty-and-sweet aftertaste.

Pistachio in Chinese is “开心果”, which literally translates to “Happy fruit.” A fitting name because the pistachio reminds me of my childhood, and now also signifies this very special year of my life. I’m already a life-long fan.

The nutritional benefits of the nut are one big, added PLUS! The high protein content kept me feeling full during long hours of rehearsal during pageant week. I wasn’t the only one choosing pistachios; the 100-calorie bags that were donated to us contestants were always the first to disappear (all that remained were lonely packets of almonds.)

I also relied on pistachios as my go-to snack while up late studying for finals at Stanford. Thank goodness for their natural, built-in portion control mechanism. Since cracking pistachios requires unoccupied hands, it’s much harder to down them by the handful. I thank pistachios for keeping me slim and trim while preparing for the pageant!

Because of my deep and genuine love for pistachios, I’m incredibly excited to be your representative and I look forward to meeting you. 

Crystal Lee
Miss California 2013