Culinary Learning: Piñon

Just plop me in a new place and tell me to go figure it out. What’s not to love about that kind of geographic adventure?

Piñon – Adrian purchased two bags from a Native American couple along a road in Taos while exploring.

Pine nuts are not something I know much about – beyond specific recipes that call for them. I get them for that purpose noting they are higher priced than I’d expect having to make sure they don’t go rancid with the high oil content once I purchase them. I’ve tried them as I use them noting oiliness and lack of flavor. With that point of reference, here’s what they were like this time around closer to their original state.

I don’t even think I realized how their shell worked I’m so used to buying the meats alone in some plastic container in the supermarket.

He jumped in the car showing me the bags saying – one is from New Mexico and the other is from Nevada.

The Nevada Piñon was smaller with a harder shell. When I cracked it and put the meat in my mouth – the flavor was simple and woody. Not bad, but I don’t think I’d crave them.

The NM Piñon, on the other hand, were a little easier to remove from the shell in my mouth. They were soft and firm all at once. The initial flavor was unexpectedly pleasant, mild, and sweet followed by a pause in flavor – then the faint pine taste took over and it was, frankly, delightful.

Piñon – definitely – and they need no conjured recipe to give them purpose. They were perfect as is.