The pine nuts have been a small tasteful treasure, gifted from our pine groveland in autumn, since the beginning of cooking with ingredients from nature.
Piñones de Castilla is dedicated to the exclusive manufacture and sale of pine nuts, specifically of the pinus pinea variety, also known as Mediterranean pine nut or Iberian pine nut. Over time, the company has become in the national and international platform of the “famous and prestigious pine nut” made in Castile (Spain) with the ancient system of spreading the pinecones in the sun for their maturation, a process called “Soleado Castilla”.
The pinus pinea o European pine nuts’ pine tree has its origin in the Mediterranean and it has been distributed in a fragmented way all over the Mediterranean land, from Portugal to Syria. Man’s interest in the pine nut resources influenced its distribution, since it has been planted on the Mediterranean coasts by different cultures.
According to the official website of the European Forest Genetic Resources Program (Euforgen), the most plausible areas of origin of the pine nuts’ pine tree would be Anatolia, Lebanon and the Iberian Peninsula where it occupies about 650.000 ha, two thirds of its world area.
Its cultivation and harvesting have been carried out for more than 5.000 years and, precisely, in Piñones de Castilla family, where it has been done since 1985.
The collection of this seed has been taken place since Ancient Rome, where it was very common for soldiers during long campaigns to collect pine nuts and use them as a supplement to their diet, providing them with high doses of protein during the long operations.
The pine nuts were part of the Roman “moretum”, ancestors of the modern pesto or almodrote, since the nuts have been used to give body and texture to sauces, as well as tasteful sweet or savoury dishes, as we have already seen in other entries in this blog: “Pine nuts cuisine: 3 savoury dishes” and “Pine nuts, a Christmas classic“.
Moreover, the pine nut is not botanically a nut, actually it is a seed that concentrates all the aroma of the forest and, therefore, it needs special care during the production process due to the delicate germination development that it has.