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How are pine nuts shelled? Why are pine nuts so expensive?


I notice people don't eat a lot of pine nuts but I see them in the store sometimes. How do you remove the shells?

3552 day(s) ago

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Larry
Pine nuts are different from most other nuts in that there are many different sorts of pine nuts coming from various species of pine trees. Some pine nuts have a hard shell and some have a soft shell. All of them, though, are housed in a pine cone. In the U.S., most pine nuts come from Colorado Pinyon, Single-leaf Pinyon, and Mexican Pinyon. European pine nuts come primarily from the Stone Pine. In Asia, they harvest pine nuts from the Korean Pine and Chilgoza Pine. Many imported pine nuts are those from the Korean Pine. Every year, the world loses pine nuts due to the harvest of pine trees for lumber or in clearing the land for other uses.

Pine nuts are a good source of protein, but the amount of protein varies by species. European Stone Pine nuts have the most protein of any species, but they are relatively expensive in other parts of the world. Pine nuts also have a long history of consumption. It is estimated that pine nuts have been eaten by humans for over 2.5 million years.

Several ways exist to shell pine nuts. American Pinyon nuts are relatively soft-shelled, so the shells are simple to remove. To save time and shell the nuts in quantity, you can cover them with a terry cloth towel. Take a rolling pin and roll it over the terry cloth and nuts so that you can hear them cracking. Most of the sharp edges of the shell will stick to the cloth when you remove it. This leaves behind the whole nuts with only a few pieces of shell to clean up. If you have the time and enjoy the leisure of eating fresh pine nuts as you shell them, you can just roll the nut between your finger and thumb. The shell will break, and the nut can be removed. Some people like to crack the shell with their teeth, like they would a sunflower seed. You can then extract the nut with your tongue and spit out the shell.


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