A Time and Labor Intensive Harvest Most of the North American harvest comes from wild, uncultivated trees. For the most part, the seeds are harvested by hand, which contributes to their expensive price. Pine seeds are found in pineapples and take about 18 months to mature. In a nutshell, there are several reasons why pine nuts are so expensive.
First of all, this nut requires a lot of time to grow and requires a lot of labor. There is also an increase in demand and it does not originate from the United States. These factors contribute to its higher value than other nuts. So, if you plan to buy some sprockets, you may need to consider the hefty price, especially with a limited budget.
The small seeds known as pine nuts are surprisingly difficult to obtain, both in the initial growth of trees and in the actual harvesting of nuts once ripe. The Kitchn also warns that pine nuts go rancid quickly, so it's best to keep nuts fresh in the fridge until they're ready to eat. As you can see, it's not just about being able to eat pine nuts directly from the tree, and there are many stages that need to be completed to make them edible. For example, pine nut producers need to climb trees and use ladders to deliver them while dropping nuts to the ground.
With pine nuts, however, the 15-25 year window represents a possible 10-year interval during which some pines will have matured and others will not. Pine mouth, or pine nut syndrome, occurs when you eat too many pine nuts, and it lets almost everything you eat taste metallic and bitter for a few days afterwards. Pine nuts are ready to harvest about a week and a half before they mature, which means that once the cones are harvested, they need to be left alone for them to ripen before the pine nuts can be extracted. And on the other hand, there is the pine nut at an excessive price, which makes teardrop-shaped nuts like caviar in walnuts.
Even pine nuts that do not originate in China are likely to be transported there first for processing, which means that they are effectively exported twice and consumers take the bill. Abadia Retuerta, from Mexico, says that once pine nuts are removed, they are sorted by size before brushing, washing and then packaging and ready for distribution. There are many reasons for this discrepancy in price, which can be traced back to the planting of the pine nut. For this reason, the intense work put into working on these trees, including the time it takes them to mature, adds to the high price and value of pine nuts.
Pine nuts have long been desired for their unique flavor, use in traditional recipes, and health benefits. Pine nuts are not as common as other nuts, but demand continues to increase in the United States and Europe.