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Showing results for tags 'Pine Nuts'.
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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
I don't have any pictures, but today I was looking for pine nuts (to make pesto) which were not from China. I went to Yes! Gourmet on Columbia Road and found a bag that was supposedly in support of American Farm Trust (this is an approximation of the real name). At $14.99 for 5.5 ounces (!), I thought they were a tad bit expensive. I was right: on the back of the bag was "Product of China." I don't even want to know what's going on here. I passed on those and went across the street to the Metro Market and bought much, much cheaper pine nuts--origin unknown. The last non-Chinese pine nuts I bought were Spanish from Whole Paycheck at $23/lb.
I'm willing to bet that nobody here has ever made, and few have ever heard of, the classic Nií§oise "dessert" Tourte de Blettes (blettes is swiss chard). This might just be my favorite thing in the world, and I put dessert in quotes up above because it only has the barest hint of sweetness when made correctly. With swiss chard and pine nuts predominant, it's a lightly sweet pastry - definitely not savory, but not very sweet either, the sweetness coming from raisins, powdered sugar, and - on occasion - a drizzle of honey, or even apple (but I'm not a proponent of apple in this pastry). It should have just a teasing hint of sweetness - nothing gratuitous. I've actually never seen it served as a dessert; it's just something you get at a pátisserie during the day, and enjoy as a snack, but it would be fully justifiable to enjoy it in the morning, with a small ballon of rosé, before your French Press of coffee. I am envisioning a certain balcony at a certain house in Nice, overlooking Corsica. Sigh ... Okay, who can make one? This is pretty much what it should look like. Will trade wine for tourtes de blettes (which is just ungodly with a bone-dry rosé from Bellet - one of the great food-wine pairings in the world, and good luck finding any Bellet around here).