We prepare our finished pine nuts for market in a custom built small factory in Marlborough.
The factory is scaled so that it can produce fresh product in small batches to meet demand. There are a lot of individual steps for which we have had machinery designed and built to our needs by local engineers. We have learned a lot as we have experimented. We have tried to draw together the best techniques we have observed in factories in Spain, mainland Italy and Sicily, where a variety of methods are used. We keep the details of our own process private, but the main parts of the operation are extraction of the nuts-in-shell from the cones, cracking and separating the kernels from the shells, cleaning and drying of the kernels and then packaging for sale. We work hard to produce a product that is of consistently high quality to ensure the freshest taste and maximum nutritional value.
Our pine nuts are ivory-coloured, have a satiny surface appearance, and a crisp bite when you eat them. These are all hallmarks of freshness of the product and careful preparation of the kernels. You may notice that they are a little longer and slimmer than Chinese pine nuts and we think that when used whole, they make a more elegant preparation in any recipe to which they are added. Pine nuts have a long shelf life if stored properly but can become yellow or waxy-looking if stored for too long or if poorly prepared from the cones.