You may have just polished off a bag of them and are still savoring that salty, buttery flavor. Or maybe you haven't tried them at all, and came to see what the fuss was all about. Either way, it's likely that no matter your palate, preferences, diet, or any other factor, these pili nuts will soon be your favorite nut, or favorite food in general, for that matter.
We first discovered pili nuts a few years ago, around the time we started Barefoot Provisions. Since then, we've been hooked. Pili nuts are unique, somewhat rare, and completely wildcrafted, so you're not going to find these on the shelves of any standard grocery store.
Pili nuts are actually a tree nut, a nutrient dense "supernut," if you will. We like to say they remind us a bit of "freeze dried butter" or "little toasted clouds". Pili nuts are like the softest most voluptuous featherbed you ever slept on, except somehow crispy-beyond crispy, and buttery-beyond buttery.
Harvested from tall, evergreen trees native to the Philippines known as pili trees (Canarium Ovatum), the delicate kernel is encased in a hard shell a fleshy and fibrous outer skin.
This precious nut appears to have an extended history as a food item, yet unfortunately, most of it remains undocumented. While it continued to be a mere garden plant for many generations, and was scantily cultivated, modern awareness of its health benefits coupled with its unique, nutty flavor and rich, oily texture have eventually led to the successful commercial cultivation of the pili nut.
Most of the pili nuts today come from the Philippines. They typically grow in areas where there is lots of volcanic activity, so the mineral-rich volcanic soil adds tons of nutrients to the pili.
Pili nuts provide significant amounts of essential fats, complete protein, vital electrolytes, such as sodium, magnesium, and potassium, as well as calcium and phosphorus, which are crucial to the formation and maintenance of bone tissue. Healthy fats support a healthy heart, lower blood cholesterol and help eliminate plaque that builds inside arteries.
They contain high levels of heart healthy omegas, all 8 essential amino acids and a treasure chest of bio-available vitamins and minerals, including more magnesium and vitamin E (the skin vitamin) than any other nut. Volcanic pilis are also rich in sulphur, known as the beauty mineral, and essential for building collagen. Pilis are so nutrient dense, they should rightfully be called a supernut (like a superfood or superfruit).
If the flavor description alone hasn't convinced you, head over and read more about the amazing pili nuts here, where you can stock up on your new favorite snack.
Next, you'll need to decide how you want to enjoy your pili. You can check out some of our favorite recipes using pili, including this delicious Pili Som Tam Salad (Papaya Salad,) Pili Nut Pesto, or Pili Nut Chocolate Truffles.
Until next time, peace, love & pili.
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