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Sep 24, 2010 07:23 AM

where to buy pine nuts not from China

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.


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  1. 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.

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

      8 Replies
      1. re: Kagemusha

        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

          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

            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

              Has Ararat moved from 1800 Avenue Road?

              1800 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M, CA

              1. re: jayt90

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

              2. re: phoenikia

                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

                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

                  Try pistachios or pecans instead, Arcadiaseeker ;-)

          2. 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

              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

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

            2. 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. 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

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