Untreated organic cedar kernels from Sibiria in raw food quality.
The almighty pinus sibirica (Siberian pine, Siberian cedar), whose forefathers go back as far as the Ice Age, continues to grow on isolated alpine slopes, as well as dominating the largest forest in the world in Eastern Siberia. The majestic trees usually grow in dense, aromatic groves. The fruit of these trees, the cedar or pine nut, is still vital to human existence in the harsh climes of Siberia. Birds, animals, and humans alike gather the cedar cones every autumn, in preparation for winter. Siberians swear by the nuts, and modern scientific analysis has shown that cedar kernels are an excellent source of minerals and essential fatty acids, including the little-researched pinolenic acid.
Gathering cedar nuts is truly seasonal labor, and the growing popularity of these nuts in the West has profited local Siberians. In late-summer, provisions, tents, and machines are packed up, and transported on horseback, motorbike, or tractor, to the harvest areas.
Passable roads in these areas are rare, as the forests used are often far from civilization. The nuts are gathered on dry days, directly from the forest floor. The best time to gather the nuts is right after a windy day or night, when many cedar cones have fallen to the ground. If harvest is good, the bags fill up quickly, but if not, gatherers must go further (and higher), making their homeward journey more difficult. In order to avoid lugging an unnecessary load, the cedar nuts are often extracted from the cedar cones at the harvest site with a special machine, and then cleaned back at camp.
Many weeks pass in this way. After harvest, the long heavy journey home - the bags of cedar nuts are carried many kilometers through the forest to the vehicles. The cedar nuts are first cleaned properly once the storage silos are reached; dust and husks are removed, and the nuts are spread out to dry in a well-ventilated space. At this stage, however, the nuts are still far from being ready to eat. The pine nuts are then hurled against metal walls, using special fans, in order to crack their shells. The nuts have a soft core; many break during the shelling process. The pine nuts are then washed, dried once again, and sieved according to size. Broken and brown nuts are removed.