Pine nuts grow in the forests of their home countries, China, Russia, North Korea and Pakistan, and not on farms. The most important factor driving up the price of pine nuts is the time that the whole process takes, because it is much longer than most nut crops, which also means that trees are not grown often and producers have to rely on wild trees. Today, pine nuts are eaten out of the bag, or they are roasted and used as an additional ingredient for various dishes. Pine nuts have long been desired for their unique flavor, use in traditional recipes, and health benefits.
Due in part to the fact that pines require a lot of time to grow, there are not many pine orchards dedicated specifically to the production of pine nuts, because farmers' efforts are better focused on other crops. In reality, there is a high demand for pine nuts in the U.S. They are a key ingredient in a number of different food products. The HuffPost says that pine nuts have a second shell that must also be removed (also by hand) before the nuts can be eaten.
So, if you plan to buy some sprockets, you may need to consider the hefty price, especially with a limited budget. It's not something that matters if you need real pine nuts, but you can always look for other alternatives if you want to save some money. Other uses of pine nuts include certain confectionery products, salads, baked goods, and even oil, as this can be extracted similarly to other nut oils. And on the other hand, there is the pine nut at an excessive price, which makes teardrop-shaped nuts like caviar in walnuts.
Farmers often have to turn to wild pines that have not been cultivated, rather than growing their own from scratch, and most of the total yield of pine nuts in North America is harvested this way. For example, pine nut producers need to climb trees and use ladders to deliver them while dropping nuts to the ground. In most cases, consumers buy pine nuts in small quantities and use them as part of recipes rather than eating them alone. Pine nuts have a unique flavor that can't be successfully replaced by other types of nuts, so it's usually worth paying the premium if you have a specific craving.
As demand for pine nuts increases, the supply of pine nuts cannot keep up due to the long time it takes trees to mature.