Portuguese gourmet

Portuguese pine nuts

Located in the south western part of the European continent Portugal is one of the premier first world nations of the world and economically one of the most affluent. The term gourmet in the Portuguese context refers to the delicacies of the country which have some kind of traditional significance and with the passage of time have become totally entwined with the Portuguese cultural life as well. These ingredients or dishes are in someway or the other rooted to the cultural identity of the Portuguese and is symbolic of their rich history as well.

Portuguese pine nuts

Amidst the enriched list of Portuguese gourmet, a very significant member are the Portuguese pine nuts which are obtained from the stone pines, also referred to as the umbrella pines and statistics from the Portuguese national forest inventory reveal that an estimated 83,900 ha of land in Portugal are covered by these stone pines. One of the prominent reasons for the widespread growth of these trees is due to the favorable weather conditions provided by the Mediterranean type climate in the Portuguese landscape. While the stone pines are adaptive to the high temperature conditions which are characteristic of the Mediterranean climate but at the same time they are not prone to pest attacks or diseases which can damage the plant. The most important product of the stone pine plant are the pine nuts which are used as ingredients in preparing various customary dishes and the pine kernels obtained from these pine nuts are high in terms of flavor which makes it a popular component in Mediterranean cuisine. It should also be mentioned in this case that unlike timber harvesting, the harvesting of the kernels of the pine nuts are considered environment friendly and ecological measures which help in preserving the forest's ecosystem and has less adverse impacts on the surroundings.