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What are pine nuts and why are they such an expensive ingredient?

24 mayo, 2021

The pinions They are present in many of the dishes of Mexican cuisine, especially in the Christmas season: we can enjoy them in different desserts and even in the traditional chiles en nogada.

Have you ever wondered where this seed comes from and also why is it so expensive in the market? Today we explain it to you.

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Where do pine nuts come from?

These are white or pinkish seeds that are obtained from the cones that occur in certain varieties of pine, such as the stone pine.

They are collected mainly in Asia and Europe, although in Mexico and other countries in South America other edible pine nut species are cultivated, such as stone pine or red pine, present in the forests of Coahuila, Chihuahua, Hidalgo and Querétaro.

Despite being popular during the Christmas season, it can be found all year round in supermarkets. Of course, its price usually rises in price during the winter.


(Photo: Getty Images)

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In addition to giving a very rich flavor to different dishes, you should know that they have also been used since ancient times for medicinal purposes, as they contain different health benefits:

  • They help treat diarrhea problems.
  • They relieve headaches.
  • They are rich in Omega 6 and 3, which help to take care of the cardiovascular system.
  • They are also a source of minerals such as magnesium, potassium and zinc, which help reduce bad cholesterol levels, as well as improve fertility.
  • In addition, they have proteins of plant origin, ideal for a vegan diet.

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But why are pine nuts so expensive?

This small seed is found inside the pineapple and its collection process is more laborious than you can imagine.

To begin with, it is not a food that is grown, but is collected from the pines of the forests.

This tree tends to grow dense, so they are scattered in wide areas and in many cases you have to climb the glasses to take the pineapples, and then shelling them by hand.

Pineapples have a hard exterior and once they break, they contain a good amount of resin, a hard crust that must be traversed to reach the pinion.

Its average cost is one thousand pesos per kilo. Despite their value, it is a tradition to include them in rich Christmas recipes, as their creamy texture gives a unique touch to the dishes.

Will you be using pine nuts this year for your seasonal recipes?

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