Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.
Basic supply and demand. Here's an article that might interest you:
pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
A pound of pinenuts is, like a whole lot of pine nuts!!! I usually buy them in three ounce bags. And a little goes a long way. They are a domestic crop (California) so you really don't need imported pine nuts for pesto. Of course, as well, asian markets are buying a lot of stuff from us for their own consumers and that has an influence on price.
Most of the pinenuts are coming from China now and they are having so problems with China (as usual) they are very labor intensive to harvest but I refuse to by the ones from China. Try using skin free Almonds and toast them 1st. This is a great substitution.
The nuts you saw for $29/lb were probably from Europe or the Middle East. They are smaller and, I think better - to say nothing of harder to find. The cheaper are from usually from China or Korea. It can be hard to figure out country of origin (same with garlic and honey these days).
I would love to buy pine nuts from CA, Pierino - please tell where you get them. Thanks.
If your health food shop has a high turnover of bulk goods, pinenuts can be much more reasonably priced . They go rancid quickly, so look for a shop that sells a lot !!!
IF you live in California one source is Flanigan Farms whose products are sold in supermarkets such as Vons widely. If you are uncertain about where they are coming from look at the back of the package and you will see "COO" meaning "country of origin". This applies to all imported foods. Barilla pasta is an old Italian brand but the stuff for sale in the USA is made here (though they try not to make that obvious). But commodities are a global business and the markets set the prices. Depending on where you live there is a good chance that your seafood is coming from Asia, somewhere, China or Vietnam or Thailand. Japan is a net importer.
Following CHeeb, also look for a store that keeps them refrigerated, and only buy what you expect to use in the near future.
If pine nuts are cost prohibitive, substitute another nut like pistachios or walnuts. I find pistachios an excellent substitution in pesto, and walnuts make a great sub for pine nuts in many baked goods.
We substitute slivered almonds in pesto. I adore pine nuts but we like a lot of them, so have to use other nuts.
hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.
Costco has 24 oz for just under $30. It's a pretty large bag. I typically store my nuts in the freezer, and they last a long time that way.
I have been buying mine from Costco for several years (I do not recall the COO) and keep them in the freezer as well. I was very disappointed when my wife called me from Costco the other day and advised that they were no longer carrying pine nuts. I insisted she press them further since they often drop items (they should demo something before they drop it, but that is a gripe for a different blog). The manager advised her that the sudden price increase (100%) was the reason they no longer carry them. If you see them, you may want to stock the freezer...
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