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Pine nuts info Tips and Information

Pine nuts info and tips will help you in your cooking and food preparation.These are very useful and quite interesting information that you learn once and then apply at any time you need it.


pine nuts info

The amphitheatre of Himalayan mountains in the northernmost part of India is thickly forested and virtually untouched by civilisation. Here tall pine trees scent their surroundings mountain streams twinkle and the entire landscape is suffused with beauty. These pine trees are highly prized for their cones which contain within their flaky depths tiny seeds which are valued by gourmets the world over.

how they grow
Pine trees grow all over the Himalayan range of mountains and other cool parts of the world. The large tree bears spiky leaves and cones of tiny overlapping scales. When the cones are ripe they are plucked before they open and heated to expand the scales. The seed within can then be easily shaken out. The nuts are used in many cuisines worldwide.

appearance and taste
indian pine nuts are about 1.52cm long and slender. They are creamy white with a thin dark
brown brittle shell. The nuts get roasted during the process of extraction. Pine nuts resemble almonds in taste and aroma. They are delicate and creamy in flavour.

buying and storing
As with all dried fruit and nuts be careful not to buy products that may be old and rancid. If you buy shelled nuts do not choose any that have gone yellow. Store in an airtight jar for 6 months.

medicinal uses
Since early fumes medidne has attributed pine nuts with the property of relieving pain and mental distress. They are also considered a stimulant.

culinary uses
ln the region where they grow pine nuts are a staple food and are used ground or sliced to flavour rice meat and vegetables. They are shelled and eaten raw as a delicacy and sent as gifts during the festive seasons of Diwali and Christmas. Pine nuts are also used in French and italian cooking. Slivers of pine nuts are sprinkled as a garnish over confectionery.

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Pine nuts are the seeds contained inside the cones of a certain pine tree the Pinus pinea which is indigenous to the Mediterranean. Once the seeds have come out of the cone they have a woody skin like a pistachio nut which has to be cracked in order to take the nut out. So collecting pine nuts is very labourintensive which explains their high price. Their delicately sweet creamy smooth taste combines so well with all kinds of ingredients from vegetables to fruit and pasta that they are one of the most important items in the store cupboard. They should however be bought in small quantities and stored in a cool dark dry spot as they dont keep well and readily go rancid.
I prefer to toast them lightly first before use as this gives them a nuttier flavour and a crisper texture. They are used in a number of sweet and savoury dishes in the middle East Turkey and North Africa. In the Lebanon one finds them in almost every dish. Sprinkled over salads or fruit salads toasted pine nuts add quite an exotic note. Although rich in calories a few pine nuts go a long way.
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