This highly nutritious kernel was an essential food source for tribes of the Native American Indians who lived in the area of The Great Basin. In Europe the Italians have been adding Pine kernels to their food for thousands of years. Both these peoples have recognised that the pine kernel is a rich source of protein and fatty acids. Here at Indigo Herbs we have added Organic Pine Nuts to our Whole Food range for its fantastic buttery taste and also because they represent a full array of vitamins, minerals and proteins. These contribute a very unique quality when added to muesli and can that extra kick in surviving until lunch time.
It has been argued that the pine nut has been consumed in America for maybe as long as 10,000 years by humans. Certain tribes of the Native American Indians depended on Pine Nuts as a staple in their diet during winter months and knew when to gather the nuts before they were totally ripe. It required the whole tribal unit for a number of weeks to gather the amount of pine nuts needed to help sustain them. The work eventually became a celebration for all the tribes who would gather in the forests to harvest pine nuts. Special tools were fashioned out of willow to pluck the cones from the trees where the pine kernels were close to peek ripeness. The pine cones were then taken back to the camps where they were put on hot coals and turned frequently to make the pine cones open up. The pine cones once they had opened up would be lightly beaten so the pine kernels would drop out. The kernels would be covered in a husk which would also have to be removed to get to the soft nut inside. To remove the husk the kernels would be put in a basket with hot coals and moved constantly by tossing the coals and kernels in the air until the husk had become hard and black. The roasted husk was then carefully separated from the kernel resulting in the lovely yellow pine kernel we known today.
There are a few different pine trees that yield edible pine kernels and they are situated all over the world. In Europe the Stone Pine is most commonly used for the harvest of pine kernels and has been for at least 6,000 years. Another name for this pine is the Parasol Pine because it has a unique dome like canopy. In America the family of Piñon Pines are those that are used most commonly for the harvest of pine kernels. Production in Asia is still the largest with six different species of Pines that result in delicious pine kernels. The difference between species results in different tastes, sizes, colours and textures of kernel