What are the differences between Chinese pine nuts & Italian pine nuts?

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A few years ago supply problems caused the price of Italian pine nuts (aka pinioli) to skyrocket and most stores switched to selling cheaper Chinese pine nuts.  It’s now difficult to find true Italian pine nuts in the US.

While the Chinese pine nuts can be used as a substitute for Italian pine nuts, the two are actually different varieties with different characteristics from completely different species of pine trees.

Pine Nut Comparison

Italian pine nut on the left, Chinese pine nut on the right.

Italian Pine Nuts Chinese Pine Nuts
Shape Cylindrical Triangular
Color Creamy Beige Slightly Darker Brown
Flavor Smooth, Nutty, with hints of Spice & Resin.Clean, Balanced & Harmonious Stronger resin flavor, slight bitter aftertaste
Oil Content 45% 78%


Marx Foods is proud to offer 100% Italian Pine Nuts.

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