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Italian Pine Nuts in L.A.?

paprikas Dec 17, 2011 08:17 AM

Does anyone know a supplier of Italian-produced pine nuts in Los Angeles? Two years ago I ate Chinese pine nuts and had pine mouth for over a week, and it's worth paying more to avoid repeating that experience. I called the touted Italian shop in Santa Monica, Guidi Marcello, but even theirs were Chinese! I want to make Ligurian pandolce for Christmas.

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    JudiAU RE: paprikas Dec 17, 2011 08:35 AM

    There is a huge pine nut shortage in the world right now so the price is high, quality is low, and supply is limited. I'd suggest going somewhere that allows you to sample them and/or has easy returns. I don't have experience with them but many hounds say TJs has excellent pine nuts. Buy a package, open it outside the store, and sample. Return if they aren't top notch.

    3 Replies
    1. re: JudiAU
      paprikas RE: JudiAU Dec 17, 2011 09:56 AM

      Thanks, but your sampling suggestion tells me you haven't experienced the results of Chinese pine nuts. The offending nuts aren't obviously bad, so one can eat them unsuspectingly. Then it's too late. The damage to your taste sensation is done, and it lasts a week. Even sugar tastes bitter. If it's Chinese, don't try it, including the ones at TJs.

      1. re: paprikas
        budlit RE: paprikas Dec 17, 2011 12:52 PM

        I got pine nuts at Guido's yesterday. She assured me that they were not from China, but not from Italy and that they were very good. I ate a few yesterday, they tasted fine and did not have any negative effects later. Melisa's pine nuts, at Gelson's claims theirs are from Italy.

        1. re: budlit
          paprikas RE: budlit Dec 18, 2011 10:15 PM

          When I telephoned before going there, the man who answered the phone specifically said, "China."

    2. Bob Brooks RE: paprikas Dec 18, 2011 12:35 PM

      Just as an FYI, Whole Foods has them in the bin from Spain at $28.00 per lb.

      9 Replies
      1. re: Bob Brooks
        paprikas RE: Bob Brooks Dec 18, 2011 10:15 PM

        The one's at the WF on West Hwd. didn't show Spanish origin.

        1. re: paprikas
          Bob Brooks RE: paprikas Dec 19, 2011 10:10 AM

          The bin in Sherman Oaks (Sepulveda) did.

          1. re: Bob Brooks
            paprikas RE: Bob Brooks Dec 20, 2011 04:40 PM

            The Valley gets all the breaks.

        2. re: Bob Brooks
          will47 RE: Bob Brooks Dec 19, 2011 11:47 PM

          The ones I've been buying at Whole Foods also specify the origin as European (I believe Spain), but not Italian.

          1. re: will47
            paprikas RE: will47 Dec 20, 2011 04:40 PM

            This thread prompted me to check my West Hwd. WF's bin again today. The bulk bin was labeled "Chinese," not Spanish.

            1. re: paprikas
              jeffz RE: paprikas Dec 20, 2011 04:45 PM

              Glendale WF always has the Spanish.

              1. re: paprikas
                will47 RE: paprikas Dec 20, 2011 06:09 PM

                I'm usually at Pasadena - Arroyo or Hastings Ranch. It's probably been at least a few months since I bought any.

                1. re: will47
                  condiment RE: will47 Dec 20, 2011 11:24 PM

                  Some very good ones in the freezer case at Roma Deli in Pasadena. Ross swears they're Italian, although they seem to have the stubby countenance of Chinese.

            2. re: Bob Brooks
              jeffz RE: Bob Brooks Dec 20, 2011 11:47 AM

              The Whole Foods pine nuts from Spain are very good. We use them for pesto all the time.

            3. a
              archer RE: paprikas Dec 19, 2011 03:01 PM

              I eat the pine nuts from TJs often (use in salads) & find them to be very good as well as extremely well priced. However, I checked my bag & it says "product of Vietnam, Russia & Korea" so clearly not what you're looking for. However, I've never had any ill-effects from eating them.

              I used to get my pine nuts from Whole Foods & they're definitely excellent (probably better than TJ) but switched to TJ for economical reasons when they became so expensive.

              1 Reply
              1. re: archer
                FED RE: archer Dec 20, 2011 04:49 PM

                yup, me too. i use the tj pine nuts all the time and have never had a problem.

              2. l
                laliz RE: paprikas Dec 20, 2011 08:42 AM

                you mean those pine nuts I got at Claros last Saturday are from China? I paid $14 lb. toasted some Sunday and used in caponata w/no notice of change of taste and/or quality.
                I'm eating leftovers now at my office for breakfast.

                will check when I get home.

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