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There are two related reasons to eschew pine nuts in pesto. The first is sustainability; as the linked article below in the NY Times indicates, world demand for pesto is creating unsustainable harvest techniques. The second is pine nut mouth syndrome; a topic we've explored previously here. (http://www.donrockwell.com/index.php/topic/14674-toxic-pine-nuts/?hl=%2Bpine+%2Bnut+%2Bmouth#entry168906) I believe these are related because one of the suspects in pine nut mouth syndrome is use of specific pine species from China or Russia. As a past victim of pine nut mouth, I am steering clear of them these days. I use macademia nuts as my alternative nut. They typically do not show up on the list of alternatives, but I think they are the best match for the oily/sweet/soft profile of good pine nuts. What is everyone else using? http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/19/opinion/making-pesto-hold-the-pine-nuts.html?ref=dining