In Europe, pine nuts come from the Stone Pine (Pinus pinea), which has been cultivated for its nuts for over 6,000 years, and harvested from wild trees for far longer. The Swiss Pine (Pinus cembra) is also used to a very small extent.
Pine nuts are the edible seeds of pines (family Pinaceae, genus Pinus). About 20 species of pine produce seeds large enough to be worth harvesting; in other pines the seeds are also edible, but are too small to be of great value as a human food.
Pine nuts are often used to accent a dish and to bring out a subtle flavor. They are often used in pesto.
Pine nuts are an ivory color that are about a 1/2 inch long. The Italian Stone Pine Nut is a torpedo shape while the the Chinese Pine Nut is more of a triangular shape.
Selecting and Buying
Preparation and Use
Toasted Pine Nuts, Baked Pine Nuts, Warm Green Bean Salad with Pine Nuts and Basil, Roasted Broccoli W Lemon Garlic & Toasted Pine Nuts. Pine nuts are a common ingredient in pestos. They can also be used as a delicious nut component in baking [breads, cakes and cookies], and in salads and pastas.
Conserving and Storing
Story Pine Nuts in the freezer for up to 9 months or in the refrigerator for 1 month. Pine Nuts will go bad very quickly, but the unshelled Pine Nuts have a long shelf life.