What The Hell Are Pine Nuts?

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My lovely parents have some extraordinary qualities. One of them is a membership to Costco. That means that every time they come to see me in NYC, they bring a bounty of love, support, and bulk items from the one and only superstore that has a key to my heart.

There are a few standards that they bring in their care-basket: Cabot cheddar cheese (private stock), salt and pepper pistachios, and a shit-load of pine nuts. Seriously, a ton of pine nuts. Which is great, because I love these little niblets and yet they’re price is so absolutely, inconceivably expensive for me to justify buying them myself.

Having all of these pine-nuts lying around my apartment got me thinking: What the hell are pine nuts!? It hit me–I had absolutely no idea what these things even were. They’re called nuts, but they look like seeds, and they taste like heaven…the whole thing just messed with my head.

I decided to do a little research. Turns out the majority of our pine nuts come from China and Russia, which explains why they’re so darn pricey. Furthermore, the process of harvesting them is quite labor intensive. Once I started digging, it became clear that the answer had been right in front of my very eyes the whole time: Pine nuts are nutty seeds produced by pine cones.

Go figure!

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