Pili nuts are the world’s best nuts, but it doesn’t mean they are loony at all. The native of the volcanic soils of the Philippines, pili nuts is one of the most nutritious amongst all the nuts.
And it comes with a host of benefits. If you want to know what are the benefits of “pili nuts” then this post is one of the best posts for you.
What Is Pili Nut?
Pili nut is the fruit of the pili tree and they range in size from 1-3 inches long and 0.5-1.5 inches across, typically in a teardrop shape.
Actually, pili nuts are nuts at all, it is a kennel or a seed that is buried inside the pili fruits. Pili fruits that grow on a Canarum Ovatum tree.
It is native in to Northern Australia, the Pacific Islands, and South Asia. But the majority of large scale cultivation of pili trees is in the Philippines.
Pili trees grow in the rich volcanic soil and it can grow to be over 100 years old. The length of these trees is up to 35 meters high.
Pili trees start to bear the fruits around 6 years old and these trees can produce an economic yield of the pili nuts when the pili tree reaches around the age of 10 years old.
Once it is harvested and shelled the pili nut can be stored in the shade for up to a year without losing any of its taste or nutritional value. A pili tree at the age of 5 or 5 years old can somewhere produce between 1000 and 2000 nuts a year.
Older trees can grow more nuts. In addition pili nuts contain high amounts of vitamin E, magnesium, manganese, thiamin, and phosphorus as compared to the other nuts.
It is one of the superfoods because it contains all the essential amino acids which are a complete protein source. Pili nuts are also a great source of a variety of other minerals including iron, zinc, copper, calcium, and potassium.
The high-fat content of the pili nuts can give them a rich buttery flavor and a texture which is ideal for using it as a non-dairy alternative for nut milk and yogurts.
History And Traditions Of Pili Nuts
Pili nuts have come to form southwest Asia where it has been an integral part of the Filipino diet for the centuries. The cultivation of the pili nuts started from the tropical rainforest Philippines.
The ancient Philippines people are collected nuts that are growing wild in the forest. They boiled these nuts to make it edible. Then gradually the native people start growing the pili nuts domestically for the food.
Later the pili nuts are started planting all over the world because of its incredible health benefits. Traditionally the pili nuts are used in a number of different ways. It also is eaten raw or by rotating them.
Pili nuts roast and coat in brown and refined sugar to make into the candy. It also used to make cakes, ice creams, muffins, and cookies. The roasted kernels of the pili nuts used to make the chocolate.
Pili fruits or the pulp is eaten throughout the Bicol region in the Sorsogon. One of the popular pili dishes is Nilantang pili. Pili nut is used in every Philippines part.
Pili kernel is used to make the oil, salad, salad, and cosmetics products. The resin of the pili pants is used for making the varnish adhesive and lacquer. The trunks of pili trees are used in making wood plants and furniture.
In fact, for the Sorsogon people, the pili nuts and trees became so important that a yearly festival was established in 2000.
This festival can give the residents to Sorsogon and also the visitors who like to celebrate this wonderful fruit and nut. It is very important for the region.
What Do Pili Nuts Taste Like?
The taste of pili nuts depends on who you ask. Because some people claim that raw pili nuts are a good deal like roasted pumpkin seeds and when you deep fry them or roast them, then they taste like roasted pine nuts.
While the other people compare the taste of pili nuts to across between the Macadamia nuts and brazil nuts that are richer and more buttery in taste.
Also, some people believe that the flavor of these nuts is delicate in flavor similar to sunflower seeds when you eat them raw.
But after roasting them it becomes chewy from the outside with a rich buttery flavor that is slightly sweet and bitter at the same time.
The pili nuts contain the highest fat and the lowest carbohydrates as compared to the other nuts. That’s why most people are like the taste of pili nuts and enjoy eating them.
How Are Pili Nuts Harvested
Pili trees are harvested all year around however, they are generally harvested from May to October. It peaking from June to August and requires several pickings.
But the pili nuts and fruits are not harvested by the commercial machinery. Instead, pili nuts are hand-harvested by the local villagers who are harvested the pili fruits by climbing up the trees.
After that, they either use a stick to thrash the fruiting branches or shake the branches of the tree to unloose the ripe fruit onto the ground, where the fruit is collating by the other villagers.
Then they boiled the pili fruit to remove their outer flesh and expose the inner shell. After removing the outer flesh, then gently nut is extracted by cracking the shell with a bolo a sharp machete.
Each shell of the pili nuts cracked by hand to avoid the damaging of the nut inside it. Harvesting the pili nuts is a time and labor-intensive process because everything is done by hand.
That’s why harvesting these nuts on a large commercial scale takes a lot of people and a lot of work. It also provides employment for many of the local villager’s communities.
The Philippines has a monopoly of commercial pili nuts and also there pili nuts are sold in various places all around the world, which include, UK, US, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Germany, France, Hong Kong, China, Hawaii, Guam, and Korea.