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Where do pine nuts come from - why you should know and why certain pine nut brands don't want you to ask pine nut country of origin questions

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Where do pine nuts come from - why you should know and why certain pine nut brands don't want you to ask pine nut country of origin questions

03/18/12

Where do pine nuts come from - why you should know and why certain pine nut brands don't want you to ask pine nut country of origin questions

One very important trend emerged in the world of pine nuts - species specific production labeling.   The difference between pine nut species is a different as the types of pine trees that produce the nuts.  It is one reason why we offer both American Pine Nut Species shelled and in the shell.  The price in the two pine nut species is reflective of  the differences, not only taste but of difficulty in harvesting and processing. The hardshell New Mexico Pinon Nuts are very, very rich in oils. The Jumbo Great Basin Soft shell pine nut drys sweet and creamy.  Everything about the way the two American pine nut species are harvested and handled and produced, is different.  For years, our slogan has been "discover the difference".   There is no other place  - on or off the internet - where one will find this kind of expertice in working with pine nuts.

 

As a result of pine nut bitter mouth, or pine nut syndrome pine nut exports are required by law to labelby their pine nut species.  This is a law in China but it is NOT seen in the market place.  It is an extremely important factor in what pine nut brand you might wish to buy. I have several posts about pine nut brands and which brands of pine nuts pretty much ignored the pine nut bitter mouth syndrome and why one should stay away from pine nut brands that  were known to cause that  problem.

 

Pine nuts are no longer, just a generic seed of a pine tree.  That is old hat - now, pine nuts when they are exported are to contain species information.   I am often asked, "where can I buy a a few thousand pounds of a good quality imported pine nut ."  Generally,  I answer that it really is a crap shoot and that the agri-businesses or food importers are very much the same.  I have not seen a single importer, distributor, manufacture, key into the issues with pine nut species. Perhaps, to most agri businesses, pine nuts are simply a part of a much larger inventory and it is simply not that important to them.   I know of no pine nut importer, that takes pride in being forthcoming about the who, when, how, why, of their pine nut story.

 

 That is too bad, and it will change as people want faces with their foods.  Also, processing is where the particular nuances of pine nut species are either captured or destroyed.  Most of the quality of a pine nut is created during the processing - unless you are buying them inshell and shelling yourself.

 

Interestingly enough USAID has funded multiple projects in the middle east related to local economic development of pine nuts.  Looking over some of these projects made me think that perhaps, the rise in small scale pine nut processing equipment had emerged simultaneously with US engagement in pine nut production.   I found the projects to be of great interest - especially since I have worked so hard at getting the US.gov to see the value of domestic pine nuts.  However, USDA found shelling and processing to be a key to the local economic development in a several other countries.  These projects seem to have spearheaded the advent of small processing, air driven shelling for pine nuts.  It was amazing to see the change in pine nut processing equipment choices - equipment that was inexpensive - just like our American pine nut sheller.

 

The rule of horse trading -  "you can't pay too little for a bad one, or too much for a good one." applies to which pine nut brand people might buy.

 

 


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This blog is about my passion for a forest, The Great Basin Pinyon Pine Forest in Nevada. Its about how I express passion, through with talking about pine nuts. Tne nuts are forests and when you are eating the pinyon forest, you are helpling to protect it.
This blog and my work represents my life long love affair with forests and my commiment to protecting the blessing of creation. We also had a certified organic wild crop farm and we distill flowers and make other cool wild products. You will find them on our order page. pinenuts@pinenut.com or wild@wildcrops.com

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