Pine nuts

History

For centuries people give many virtues to pine nuts. This kernel is originating from Mediterranean region, where is highly use in the cuisine.

During many years, pine nuts was recommended as a cure for diseases. In some country, they are used as an aphrodisiac.

In Europe, thanks to its Mediterranean origin, pine nuts are produced on the Iberian Peninsula in Spain and Portugal.

In Asia, a different species is developed, it’s in Pakistan and China where it’s production is the most important.

 

Production

Estimated World Pine nuts Production 2013/2014
Countries PRODUCTION per TONS
FAR EAST : Pinus Chinensis
 PAKISTAN                      6 000  
 CHINA                      5 000  
 DPR KOREA                      2 000  
 RUSSIA                      2 500  
 SOUS TOTAL                    15 500  
   
 MEDITERRANEAN :Pinus Pinea 
 SPAIN                          375  
 Portugal                          275  
 TURKEY                          225  
 ITALY                          175  
 OTHERS                            80  
 SOUS TOTAL                      1 130  
   
 TOTAL                    16 630  

Source : nutfruit.org

Harvest

Pine cones are harvested during the end of summer before blooming. Then, the cones are put in bag under the sun during 20 days. At the end of this period, pines cones are opened and you can harvest pine nuts.

 

Countries of origin

Varieties

  • Mediterranean

This pine nuts came from stone pine. The pine nuts have a long shape as a torpedo with a sensitive and light taste. The quality of this pine nuts is very important so it’s more expensive.

  •  Asian

This Chinese pine nuts came from Korean pine. The shape is more triangular. This pine nuts has a pronounced taste.

 

Grades

Mediterranean countries (Spain, Portugal, Turkey…) and Pakistan always classified pine nuts with two grades:

  • Grade A: Whole pine nuts, light coloured. For 100g around 500 pine nuts.

  • Grade B: Pine nuts without grade A. Around 90% of damages pines nuts. Colour darker.

In China, the varieties used are: Pinus Koraiensis (Korean) ; Pinus Sibrica (Siberia) ; Pinus Yunnanensis (Yunnan)

Sizing: number of pine nuts for 100g

600 ; 650 ; 750 ; 750-800 ; 950 ; 1200