“Healthy, but expensive”
Pignole, Pine kernels, Pinon, Indian nut, Pignoli, Pignolia
Harvest: October to March, but available all year round.
Crude fibre 0,9%
An integral part of Mediterranean cuisine
Pine kernels are very healthy and are an integral part of Mediterranean cuisine. They are the peeled seeds of the pine, which can be found throughout the Mediterranean. In the pine cones grow the popular kernels, which fall out of the cones by drying. These are then soaked in water and then freed from the hard seed shell and skin.
The pine nuts are the seeds from the cones of the parasitic pine tree native to Asia Minor. It belongs to a wild pine species (Pinaceae), which can grow up to 30 meters high. In winter the ripe cones fall to the ground and can be collected to dry in the sun in spring. During drying, the hard-shelled seeds then open so that the coveted pine nuts can be easily reached.
Quantity per 100 grams
Saturated fatty acids
Polyunsaturated fatty acids
Monounsaturated fatty acids
Origin & Provenance
Things to know
Origin & Provenance
The pine nuts originate from the pine cones of the pine - a coniferous tree that is widespread in the Mediterranean region. Typical "pine countries" are Italy, Spain or Turkey. Pine nuts have their price, because production is expensive. Pines are not cultivated extensively but harvested wild, they only carry the first pine cones after 20 years, which take 3 years to mature and then they have to dry the whole winter. In addition, the pines are up to thirty meters high, which makes manual harvesting difficult for the pineros (pickers). They beat the cones from the pine trees with poles to pick them up later from the ground.
The last decades have ensured that the pine tree has now also reached other countries, for example the Asian region. There it is cultivated specifically for pine nut extraction and then exported.
Pine nuts are delicious, have a nut-like aroma and provide us with all kinds of important and healthy nutrients. The kernels consist almost half of fats, but these are only polyunsaturated fatty acids and help to lower the cholesterol level in contrast to the saturated fatty acids. Furthermore, they contain many parts of the trace element selenium, which protects us from the so-called "free radicals" and strengthens the immune system.
Pine kernels contain extremely large amounts of iron and are therefore particularly suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets to compensate for iron deficiency. The iron content is even higher than in calf's liver, which has the highest amount of iron among the pieces of meat.
Pine kernels go well with almost any dish. In the mediterranean cuisine they are very popular and are roasted in salads or soups, in vegetable pans or also given to pasta dishes, but also for baking and in rice dishes they are suitable outstanding. The seeds can also be enjoyed raw. In Pesto they also taste particularly good and it can be achieved even with small amounts of pine nuts a great effect. Who buys peeled pine nuts must, however, take care that they do not spoil, because they are due to their high fat content quickly rancid.
Things to know
The pine is impressive: it is very robust and has only low demands on soil quality. Even the irrigation is not decisive, because it can survive dry periods of 6 months and even week-long temperatures of over 30 degrees without damage. Since the European pine nuts are very expensive, many now choose the alternative from Asia. These are more triangular, have a dark tip, taste less resinous and are even more fatty. In a few cases, after eating kernels from China and Pakistan, there were even serious, temporary taste disturbances which became noticeable 1-3 days after eating and lasted days to weeks.