Pine Nuts: Wildlife Collection from China
- Pine Nuts: Seeds of the pine cone
- Delicate flavor
- Buttery almond-like flavor with a resinous aroma
- Perfect for pesto, cakes, and salads
What are Pine Nuts?
Pine nuts are the small, elongated, and peeled seeds found inside the cones of pine trees (conifers). They are located between the scales of the cones and are protected by a hard shell. Mediterranean pine kernels are longer compared to Asian varieties.
What Do Pine Nuts Taste Like? How Can I Use Them?
Pine nuts have a buttery, almond-like flavor with a resinous aroma. Their delicate taste complements both savory and sweet dishes. They are commonly used in baking cakes, biscuits, and macaroons. In Indian and Turkish cuisine, they add flavor to rice dishes, while Moroccan cuisine incorporates them into couscous and fresh spinach along with olive oil and garlic.
In Italian cuisine, pine nuts are used in pasta salads, filled omelets, pesto Alla Genovese, and Torta Della Nonna. They also pair well with fried chicken or as a delicious topping for mushroom carpaccio.
Nutrition Facts per 100g of Pine Nuts:
- Calories: 670 (2800 kJ)
- Fat: 60g
- Carbohydrates: 20g
- Protein: 13g
- Fiber: 1g
How Should I Use Pine Nuts?
Pine kernels should be carefully roasted before use to enhance their unique aroma and achieve a crispy consistency. Roast them in a nonstick pan over medium heat, preferably without any fat. Pay close attention as they can burn quickly. Once they acquire a slight tan, transfer them to a separate bowl to cool. Avoid leaving them in the hot pan as they may continue to cook and burn.
Where Do Pine Nuts Come From?
Pine trees belong to the pine family (Pinaceae) and are found in the Mediterranean area, China, Pakistan, and Korea. They originated in Asia Minor and are known by various names such as Mediterranean pine, umbrella pine, and Italian stone pine.
Pine trees can grow up to 30 meters in height and live for approximately 200 years. They are highly resilient, adaptable to different soil conditions (calcium-rich or sandy), and can withstand prolonged periods of heat without rain.
Interesting Facts About Pine Nuts
Pine nuts are small, delicate nuts commonly used in Mediterranean and Oriental cuisine. They have an almond-like flavor with a resinous aroma, adding subtle highlights to dishes. Pine nuts are considered one of the most expensive nuts due to their elaborate harvesting process. Pine trees only bear fruit after 20 years, and the seeds take 3 years to mature. Harvesting pine cones requires climbing or shaking the trees with poles to collect them. The pine seeds are then extracted from the cones and painstakingly removed from their hard shells and seed skins.