Most people are familiar with the evergreen pine tree. It grows well in colder climates and is present extensively in Canada and Siberia. The largest can reach up to 75 feet tall. Some species of pine tree, including Pinus Sibirica and Pinus Koraiensis, produce edible pine nuts that provide many health benefits for people who are resourceful enough to try them. Pine nuts can be sold shelled or unshelled in grocery stores and whole food markets. Unshelled nuts have a long shelf life and are often sold in bulk. Stores package shelled nuts in plastic-bags; in warm, moist environments they will spoil quickly.
Pine nuts differ in appearance depending on where they are harvested. Western varieties and Chilgoza (a pine from Pakistan or India) pines have long, thin kernels. Oriental pines have seeds which are large and broad. They are also higher in fat. There are many pine tree species around the world, but only twenty or so have edible nuts.
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