The many types and uses of pine nuts

02-08-2018 in Ingredients
The many types and uses of pine nuts

Pine nuts have become a popular ingredient in kitchens all around the world. Yet, not many people know where the pine nut comes from or where it grows. That is why today’s short blog will help you to expand your knowledge of commodities!

Pine nuts come from pine trees

The photo above shows a pine tree. Pine nuts come from pine trees. There are about 20 species of pine trees that grow enough pine nuts for harvesting. Pine nuts are the seeds hidden below the cone scales of the pine cones that grow on the pine trees. In the past, the pine nuts were removed by shaking the pine cone by hand, but nowadays this is usually done by machine. The pine nut is surrounded by a brown shell. The process for obtaining just a few seeds from the cones is very time-consuming. This explains why pine nuts are quite expensive. 

Pine trees are located all over the world, and In Europe pine nuts often come from:

Pine trees are also found in China and the USA. It is said that the Chinese pine nut affects your sense of taste and will leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth for two days after consumption. Chinese pine nuts can be distinguished from European pine nuts because they are thicker and smaller.

Using pine nuts

Each country has a different use for the pine nut. In Italy pine nuts are used to make pesto with Genoa pesto being the best-known example of this. In Turkey pine nuts are used in baklava and kibbeh nayyeh, and in North America they are even used to make coffee. Pine nuts can be used in many different dishes, hot or cold, and are also a great ingredient to use for pastries. Sweet confited pine nuts are delicious in combination with components of white chocolate and yoghurt. Or place pine nuts in cold water and store in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours. This enhances the buttery texture of the seeds. Finely blend the soaked pine nuts in the blender and use as a vegan alternative for butter.

On Gastronomixs you’ll find the various components in which pine nuts are used and we can assure you that they are definitely worth a try! Also be inspired by recipes that use different types of nuts and seeds such as this hearty macadamia crème or walnut cheese. Not a member but want to view the components? Sign up now and try out Gastronomixs for free for two weeks!

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