Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday's Wonders--Pine Nuts

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They're pretty trendy these days: tossed in a salad or ground into pesto, but I remember a time when I didn't even know they existed.

As a kid I felt like I knew a lot about pine trees. Our house was surrounded by them and I could shinny up the bare trunk to the branches that started about 12 feet up. I was intimate with the pine cones. I decorated them, ripped them apart, used them for weapons. Life was cool with a pine tree. Who knew I was missing one of the best parts of the tree. Okay, so the pine nuts on the kind of trees we had around my house were too small to amount to much.

It was actually France that introduced me to these precious little nuggets of deliciousness. When I lived over there, a French friend cracked open one of the pine cones she'd gathered, and handed me a small creamy seed. "Eat it." I thought it was crazy, but I ate it anyway. Wow. Sold.
by fieelgh on deviantART

How many of you are fans of the pine nut? Have you ever searched for them in your own yard? Here's a great article about how to forage for them even in the US. Part of it is that you have to find the right kinds of pines.

Pine nuts were a revelation to me when I was a young college student, and I still eat them in wonder.

17 comments:

WindyA said...

I love pine nuts! When they're in season, we toast them up and munch on them on movie nights!

Patti said...

I do love them in salad.

Solvang Sherrie said...

Mmmmm. Now I want to go dig out that bag from the back of the fridge and start munching :)

Karen said...

Pine nuts are wonderful! I saute them and put them in rice pilaf. Did you use those pine cone weapons against your brothers? :)

Tess said...

Funny you should post this because I was at the store yesterday and saw a bag of pine nuts in the produce section and thought "Mmmm..I'll get some"

but that little bag was $7.49

ouch.

so, no pine nuts for us. I think our trees are the wrong kind???? That's worth checking into.

Crimey said...

Tess is right, pine nuts are usually too darn expensive. I love them in pasta and salad. This post is making me hungry.

Carolyn V. said...

Hey Lois! Every Christmas my mom used to buy a huge bag of pine nuts. They were delicious. Even now when I see them (any time of the year), I think about Christmas. I've never been able to get any out of the pinecone, that is really cool. =)

Susan R. Mills said...

We don't have pine nuts, but I do love them. Like Tess said, though, they are just too dang expensive.

beth said...

I love pine nuts!!! I first experienced them in France, too, when I went on a quest to discover what made the pesto so good. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any when I was breaking through pine cones in my back yard... :)

Yat-Yee said...

I love pine nuts but lately they've been so expensive; over $20 a lb. I have never seen the nuts within the cones (Beth: none in mine either!) before. Cool thing to learn.

Alyssa said...

Pine nuts are so good. There's a pizza place here in Provo that puts them on one of their pizzas, and it's delicious!

Davin Malasarn said...

Pine nuts really make things special for me. I love them! I'd love to find one out in the wild.

T. Anne said...

My family is from Europe and we LOVE pine nuts! I can eat them alone, in my meal or dessert.

sarahjayne smythe said...

I'm a big fan of pesto, but I've never had them in a salad. :)

L.T. Elliot said...

I like them in certain kinds of pasta but in general, I'm not a huge fan. But I love this post and how you detail them like discovering a treasure.

lotusgirl said...

Wow. A lot of other pine nut lovers. For those wanting to find them in nature, follow the link. It lists some of the types of pines that have big enough ones to be worth the effort. They aren't cheap. The last time I bought them the guy at the register said. "Did you realize that the most expensive thing you bought was that bag of nuts?" Crazy.

日月神教-向左使 said...
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