Recipes & Cooking

Pining for You

by The Culinistas

If you asked us to pick a favorite delicacy, we might just say pine nuts. Both delicious and fascinating, these tiny treats are often thought of in the context of pesto. What’s less considered is the origin story, which is frankly, adorable. Pine nuts come from pine cones. Not only that, they come from pine cones worldwide. Our little friends are international, featured prominently in Chinese, Italian, Korean, Russian, and Mediterranean cuisine.

Upon learning this information, you may be wondering about the cone to nut process. At least, we did. So after pouring over articles and videos alike, we’ve gotten the general gist. Pine nuts are typically harvested from wild trees by hand (which is part of why they’re so pricey.) About 10 days before the cone is ready to open up, the seeds can be removed by peeling off a scale and smashing it. After, a hard protective outer shell is removed (also) by hand to reveal the pine nut itself.

Equipped with this knowledge, we have an extra layer of appreciation for pines, and we’ll never see a pine cone in the same way again!

A special thanks to iStock for the beautiful photo.