HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
What's your latest food project? Get great advice

where to buy pine nuts not from China

ski break Sep 24, 2010 07:23 AM

Anyone know where to buy pine nuts not imported from China. There was a shortage and am not sure if there still is. . Saw some at Costco but they were as noted.


  1. ekim256 Sep 24, 2010 12:48 PM

    I honestly don't know if they're imported from China or not, but I've always found Tutti Frutti's pine nuts to be very good. They keep them in the fridge, not in a bin and I haven't bought package pine nuts since!


    1 Reply
    1. re: ekim256
      KitchenVoodoo Sep 24, 2010 06:57 PM

      The Big Carrot on Danforth at Chester also keeps their pine nuts refrigerated - and they are organic. Priced accordingly!!

    2. The Chowhound Team Sep 24, 2010 11:29 AM

      Folks, please keep your replies focused on helping the OP find non-Chinese pine nuts in the area. Discussion of the safety of Chinese pine nuts is off topic on a regional board.

      1. p
        phoenikia Sep 24, 2010 11:12 AM

        Maybe try some of the Iranian shops that sell quality nuts. Blanking on the name, but there's one located near Yonge & Steeles that has been recommended on this Board.

        I've also bought non-Chinese pine nuts at Italian and Greek stores in the past, but not lately.

        2 Replies
        1. re: phoenikia
          mrsleny Sep 25, 2010 06:02 PM

          I believe you are thinking of Tavazo. They have a second location in Richmond Hill on Yonge north of Major Mac. I still haven't gotten around to trying them yet.


          1. re: mrsleny
            phoenikia Sep 26, 2010 09:30 AM

            Yep, that's the place I was thinking of. Thanks mrsleny!

        2. Kagemusha Sep 24, 2010 08:49 AM

          What's the problem with Costco's? All their nuts are fresh--always.

          8 Replies
          1. re: Kagemusha
            phoenikia Sep 24, 2010 11:07 AM

            Some of the Chinese-grown pine nuts (all the pine nuts I've seen at Canadian Costco's are imported from China) have been causing pine mouth.

            1. re: phoenikia
              Kagemusha Sep 24, 2010 11:44 AM

              It's freshness--not origin--issue that's behind the taste problem. Many posters complaining about this admit to buying small packs from low turnover sources.Non-Chinese nuts aren't immune to going stale, hence there's at least as good a chance of "pine mouth" from them.
              Hopefully the Mods get this?

              1. re: Kagemusha
                phoenikia Sep 24, 2010 11:51 AM

                I understand it's mostly a freshness issue, and I keep my non-Chinese pine nuts (as well as my almonds and pecans) in the freezer.

                The little guy running a small store is probably going to keep careful watch of his stock if he wants his customers returning. I still would chose to buy pine nuts from a Mediterranean grocer (and sourced from somewhere near the Mediterranean) over those sold at Costco, regardless of price, because I think the little guy is more likely to know the products he sells better.

                I would think that terroir could effect the taste of pine nuts. Ontario peanuts do not taste like Virginia peanuts. I doubt non-rancid Chinese pine nuts taste exactly the same as non-rancid Italian pine nuts.

                Ararat on Avenue Road is probably a good bet for fresh-tasting pine nuts. Nice, competent people running the shop, who stock quality products.

                1. re: phoenikia
                  jayt90 Sep 24, 2010 12:02 PM

                  Has Ararat moved from 1800 Avenue Road?

                  1800 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M, CA

                  1. re: jayt90
                    phoenikia Sep 24, 2010 12:04 PM

                    i don't think so. I corrected an earlier typo. Should still be at 1800 Avenue Road.

                  2. re: phoenikia
                    Kagemusha Sep 24, 2010 12:08 PM

                    With respect, that's wishful thinking both in terms of freshness and especially the "somewhere near the Mediterranean" part. It's still a turnover/freshness issue, terroir notwithstanding.

                  3. re: Kagemusha
                    Arcadiaseeker Sep 27, 2010 11:42 AM

                    I agree - have had a few very bad cases of pine mouth - two from a bag of organic pine nuts that were not Chinese and one from a salad eaten at Harbord Room that had pine nuts (my husband shared it with me and also had pine mouth after). I wish I could narrow it down to China - I don't eat pine nuts at all now (which made for a depressing pesto making season - walnuts are no substitute I have found!!).

                    Harbord Room
                    89 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1G4, CA

                    1. re: Arcadiaseeker
                      phoenikia Sep 27, 2010 02:07 PM

                      Try pistachios or pecans instead, Arcadiaseeker ;-)

              2. a
                AverageJo Sep 24, 2010 07:32 AM

                I've seen Middle Eastern pine nuts at Whole Foods, but haven't been there recently, so don't know if WF still has them.

                Show Hidden Posts