Pine nuts are rich in proteins,they are also a source of dietary fiber. Pine nuts are essential for pesto and several other dishes including cakes.
Small and soft, with a taste similar to that of almond, pine nuts are the edible seeds, contained in pine cones, of some species of pine trees, the most common of which is the "umbrella pine", of the coniferous family.
The umbrella pine (Pinus Pinea), is a tree that reaches 30 meters in height, with an unusually wide and flat hair above a tall and bare trunk, and the branches are arranged in a ray like the rods of an umbrella. Pine cones are large, heavy and globose, and mature in three years; the collection of pine cones is carried out from October and throughout the winter. They are then kept in piles and, from May, lying in the sun until the scales release the pine nuts.
Pine nuts are highly nutritious and rich in protein and have been consumed in Europe since the Paleolithic period: they consist of about 40% fat and bring on average 600 calories per 100 grams; are very rich in calcium and vitamin A.
Today it is frequent, in addition to Ischia, of course, along the coasts, in beautiful and famous pine forests, such as those of Migliarino and S. Rossore, in Tuscany, or like that of Ravenna, already counted in dante's writings.
Pine nuts are eaten fresh or roasted: they are used in pastry to prepare and enrich creams, cakes, tarts, biscuits.
They are also used in the preparation of salads, fillings, sauces, sauces and in the famous pesto.
Pine nut is certainly a food that has always been considered very precious: it must be considered that to obtain a kilo of pine nuts, it takes thirty kilos of pine cones and a pine cone takes three years to ripen.
Pliny wrote: " Pine nuts turn off thirst, calm the burning of the stomach and win the weakness of manly parts".