Origin: Pakistan /China
Main Areas of Cultivation: Pakistan, China, Spain, Portugal Pine nuts cannot be cultivated on plantations; the cones are collected from wild pine forests.
In addition to the A, B and C gradations, the quality is primarily determined by the country of origin. Every one of the above mentioned countries produces a different-tasting variety. The Chinese pine nuts, for example, taste quite neutral (bland), the Span./Port. pine nuts quite resinous, the Pakistani pine nuts very piquant.
The Pakistani pine nut kernels are approx. 2-2.5 cm long and 0.5 cm wide. The Chinese pine nut kernels are wide in form (1cm) and 2 cm long. The Spanish/Portuguese pine nut kernels are approx. 1.5 cm long and 1 cm wide.
Raw or roasted the oil-rich nuts can be sprinkled over salad or vegetables. They make an excellent filling for vegetables and are used in sauces, rice dishes, baking etc. The best known recipe using pine nut kernels is certain to be “Pesto all genovese,” a thick paste made of hackled pine nut kernels, basil, parmesan, garlic and olive.