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pine nuts

In Europe, pine nuts come from the Stone Pine (Pinus pinea), which has been cultivated for its nuts for over 6,000 years, and harvested from wild trees for far longer. In Asia, two species are widely harvested, Korean Pine (Pinus koraiensis) in northeast Asia (the most important species in international trade), and Chilgoza Pine (Pinus gerardiana) in the western Himalaya.

Pine nuts have been eaten in Europe and Asia since the Paleolithic period. They are frequently added to meat, fish, and vegetable dishes. In Italian they are called pinoli or (rarely) pignoli and are an essential component of Italian pesto sauce. Pine nuts are also featured in the salade landaise of southwestern France. Pine nut coffee, known as piñón is a speciality found in the southwest United States, especially New Mexico. Pine nuts are also used in chocolates. It is also a widely used ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine, reflected in a diverse range of dishes.