Pine nuts are the edible seeds of pines. About twenty species of pine produce seeds large enough to be worth harvesting. Crunchy, sweet and delicious pine nuts are a very good source of plant derived nutrients, essential minerals, vitamins and “heart friendly” mono-unsaturated fatty acids that help benefit in reducing cholesterol levels in the blood.
Pine nuts have been eaten in Europe and Asia since the Paleolithic period. They are frequently added to meat, fish, salads and vegetable dishes or baked into bread. In Italian they are called pinoli and are an essential component of Italian pesto sauce, and the upsurge in the popularity of this sauce over the last 20 years has increased the visibility of the nut generally. In Spain, a sweet is made of small marzipan balls covered with pine nuts, painted with egg and lightly cooked. Pine nuts are also featured in the salade landaise of southwestern France. Pine nut coffee, known as piñón, is a speciality found in the southwest United States, and is typically a dark roast coffee having a deep, nutty flavour; roasted and lightly salted pine nuts can often be found sold on the side of the road in cities across New Mexico to be used for this purpose, as well as a snack. Pine nuts are also widely used in Middle Eastern cuisine, reflected in a diverse range of dishes such as kibbeh, sambusak, desserts such as baklava, and many others.
See the recipe for Pine Nut Crusted Orange Cake. Yum!
Get these and other fabulous fresh spices and other ingredients from the Cygnet Market or at the Garden Shed and Pantry.
Check out the newly renovated pantry and the special Spice offer.