Which country has best pine nuts?

Italy represents about 4% of the world total. After China, North Korea, Russia and Pakistan are the largest producers of pine nuts in the world. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, only 29 species provide edible nuts, while 20 are marketed locally or internationally because the size of their seeds is large enough to make them worth harvesting; in other pine trees, the seeds are also edible, but they are too small to have any significant value as human food. Consumer demand for vegan, gluten-free and natural foods opens up opportunities in the European market for exporters of pine nuts.

The most used in international trade are the pine nuts of the Chinese or Eastern pine (Pinus koraiensis), the Siberian pine (Pinus sibirica), the Chilgoza pine (Pinus gerardiana) and the Mediterranean pine (Pinus pinea). Pesto, which is normally produced by mixing pine nuts with basil, garlic and olive oil, is the only dish that greatly increased the popularity of pine nuts. In Europe, this is usually done mechanically, but in other countries the seeds are extracted manually by hitting the cones with wooden sticks. Pine nuts are a traditional ingredient in Mediterranean dishes and the product benefits from the growing interest of consumers in Mediterranean cuisine.

In any case, now you can find Italian pine nuts sold at Waymouth Farms in your country, you can ask them where they find them. As a child, in the woods of Khentii province, located northeast of Ulan Bator, on the border with Siberia, Byambaa had helped her father clean, cook and sell pine nuts for additional income. The name of the product must appear on the label (“pine nuts” or “pine nut kernels”, for example), together with the botanical name of the species (Pinus gerardiana, for example). In Europe, pine harvesting is allowed between December and March to avoid illegal harvesting before full maturity.

Despite the growing interest in pine nuts, consumption fluctuates due to the instability of supply that influences prices. Depending on the year and the species of pine, an individual cone contains between 50 and 100 seeds, each with a hard outer layer that encloses the grain. Pine nut coffee, known as piñón (which in Spanish means pine nut), is a specialty found in the southwestern United States, especially in New Mexico, and is usually a dark roasted coffee with a deep nutty flavor; roasted and lightly salted pine nuts can often be found on the side of the road in New Mexico cities for use for this purpose, as well as a snack. Pineapples are collected by pine nut pickers, who sometimes climb trees to pick the desired pineapples.

Specialized agents represent exporters of pine nuts in the European market, but they also supply private brands to European retailers. However, there are other species of pine nuts that are consumed locally where they are produced.