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Pine nuts are the edible seeds of pines in the genus Pinus in family Pinaceae. There are about 20 species of pines which have seeds that are large enough to be worth harvesting, others are too small to be of great value for human consumption.
The shell must be removed before the pine nut can be eaten. Unshelled pine nuts have a long shelf life if kept dry and refrigerated. Shelled nuts and unshelled nuts will deteriorate rapidly, becoming rancid within a few weeks or even days in warm humid conditions. Pine nuts are frequently added to meat, fish, and vegetable dishes. Pine nuts are also used in chocolate and desserts such as baklava. The nuts are also widely used in Middle Eatern cuisine.
Pine nuts contain thiamine, vitamin B1, protein and a source of dietary fiber. The nuts can be pressed to extract pine oil, valued both for its mild, nutty flavor and it's health benefits such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action.