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|Origin||China, North America, Italy, Spain, Portugal|
|Growth||The seeds in the fir cones of pine trees|
|Processing||Drying and peeling|
|Shelf life||At least a year after production|
Pine seeds grow in a kind of fir cone on a pine tree, and are not visible from the outside. Harvesting the nuts is quite labour intensive, because the nuts have to be taken from the cone one by one. For this reason China is a popular producer of pine nuts: labour is cheaper there, as a result of which Chinese pine nuts are priced more favourably than those of European countries. Harvesting is done from October to March. Since the nuts are safely stored in the fir cones they are ‘preserved’ quite well.
Pine nuts have to be dried after harvesting. They are laid in the sun in April-May, drying them naturally. Subsequently the seeds are separated from the shells mechanically and they are ready for processing.
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