There are tens of varieties of pistachios developed by curious Iranian farmers, on a small scale. Every decade or two one of these varieties has been developed and has been seen as advantageous in certain aspects, so it has been taken up by other farmers. Some of these varieties have endured enough to become stable commercial varieties. In general, all commercial varieties of Iranian pistachios fall into two categories by shape: round and long. When the length to diameter ratio is greater than 1.5, then that variety is classified as long, a ratio below 1.5 is called round. Currently, there are four different commercial varieties of pistachios cultivated in Iran, which have differing characteristics and properties as listed below.
Fandoghi: Among the round cultivars, Fandoghi is the most widely available variety and is still cultivated in traditional-producing regions of Iran. At present, Fandoghi accounts for around 50% of Iranian production. However, due to its limited yield, new orchards are rarely planted with this variety.
Kalleh Ghouchi (Jumbo): was a commercially successful variety, but because its production is highly affected by water shortage, water salinity and climatic fluctuations, Jumbo is no longer being budded and production comes from existing trees.
As for the long cultivars, Akbari is a long variety with increasing acreage and higher yields with a large nut size. This is the variety with the largest kernel to in-shell weight ratio and thus an exceptional value for money.
Ahmad Aghaei: is an increasingly popular commercial long variety. Resembling the Kerman variety from the US, its production is growing as it has become very popular in export markets like India due to its exceptional taste and appearance.