Ecuadorian Cacao Pili Nuts by Mount Mayon, 3 oz
Ecuadorian Cacao Pili Nuts by Mount Mayon, 3 oz

Mount Mayon

Ecuadorian Cacao Pili Nuts by Mount Mayon, 3 oz

The caviar of nuts. The ambrosia of nuts. The black truffle of nuts. Shall I go on? Perhaps you just want to dive right in and get yourself a sack of these Volcanic Pili Nuts, pronto, so that you can do backflips in your living room as you nibble on each impossibly buttery morsel, sharing none but raving about them for days afterward to anyone who will listen about the best nut ever invented in the history of nuts. It's the Pili Nut and it is grown in volcanic soil in the Philippines, harvested and put through a gentle 17-step process that slow-cures each nut while retaining maximum flavor and 100% nutrients. Nuts don't get better than this. ~

For the true, true stories behind this incredible foodstuff, read on.

When people think about a nut that is really rich and decadent, usually the macadamia will come to mind. Nothing wrong with macadamias. Those are totally great nuts, nice and crunchy with some good fatty richness. But macadamias cannot hold a candle in pure decadent bliss to the Pili Nut. Put briefly, pilis will redefine what you thought was possible when it comes to nuts and the creation of pure bliss.

Okay, I’ve gotten your attention. But there’s more. Add a crispy-sweet dusting of cacao and coconut flower sugar. Yes, you heard me right. Take the most amazing nut you’ve ever eaten, and add chocolate. It doesn’t really get any better. When I first tasted these, I just laughed in pure delight that something so wonderful could exist. The sweet chocolaty coating adds another layer of amazingness to the already-mind-blowing pili nuts — it’s not too thick, not too thin, not too sweet, just the perfect counterpoint to something which is pretty much perfect on its own. Think I’m exaggerating? Try the small pouch of cocoa pilis, and you’ll be ordering another, plus a large bag before you know it.

Pilis aren't just perfection on your taste buds. They also 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. Pre-sprouted volcanic pilis are also rich in sulphur, known as the beauty mineral, and essential for building collagen. Iron-rich cacao and potassium-rich coconut flower sugar add yet more nutritional goodness. Cocoa pilis are so nutrient dense, they should rightfully be called a supernut (like a superfood or superfruit).

Ok, so . . . pilis are delicious and happy-making and will do wonderful things for your body. Is there a catch? Luckily, the answer now is, "no!" Several years ago and more, most pilis available were raw and covered in a thick layer of bark-like brown skin. I could tell that they were pretty special as I tasted them, but I didn’t really like the skin, and I couldn’t figure out how to get it off. I’d nibble at the skin, revealing a beautiful creamy core which I’d then devour, but that was an awful lot of work, so I didn’t add pilis to my nut rotation.

Only after I tried pili nuts using Mount Mayon's long and totally-worth-it pre-sprouting and slow-drying process did I finally understand what pilis could be. Holy. Wow. Party. In. My. Mouth. The first I tried were lightly dusted with pink Himalayan salt.. They tasted impossibly good, like all of those swooning metaphors above. I soon tried the cocoa pilis — dusted with cacao and coconut sugar, and was immediately seduced by these as well. I now crave pilis almost every day in the same way that paleo folks crave bacon. 

Now that pilis are kind of famous, you might see them here and there or available online. Remember how goji berries went from fringe to mainstream in the span of months, and all of a sudden you could find them everywhere? I worried about a lot of the quality of those gojis just like I worry about any Pili that doesn't use Mount Mayon's quality control standards. So enjoy this rare treat, share it with your friends, and know that you’re on the bleeding edge of nutrition and paleo goodness.

"Volcanic. The New Organic": The Story of Volcanic Pili Nuts From Mount Mayon

Growing plants in volcanic soil has a long history of excellent results. Flowers bloom with vibrant colors, fruits take on extra vitamins, and even something like a nut tree will absorb tons of the extra minerals in the volcanic soil to produce highly nutritious and deeply satisfying nuts. THIS is where Mount Mayon got their inspiration to harvest pili nuts from only volcanic soils, and only from one very special place in the Philippines.

Tropical pili trees—including the ones that grew these luscious nuts—are rooted deeply in rich, volcanic soil. Blasted by three meters (39 inches!) of rain and 20 major typhoons a year, these are nuts from extreme nature. The sturdy Pili Nut trees withstand the weather and produce the most delicate, rich, and nutrient-dense nuts on the planet. Mount Mayon searched all over the Philippines to bring you the finest pilis available, and THIS IS THEM.

These rare and limited batch nuts are not ready right off the tree: there's more involved before you can taste the deliciousness yourself. The folks at Mount Mayon brought together their knowledge of botany and chemistry to create their own pre-sprouting and low-heat dehydration process. This 17 step process is often imitated but the nuts just aren't quite the same when it comes to crisp buttery wonderment.

First, their process removes an indigestible layer found on all nuts and seeds along with the phytic acid inhibitors. The low temperatures throughout the process maintain all the vitamins and minerals in the nut in their pristine form, so that when you eat Mount Mayon's pili nuts, you really are getting the best of nature.

The skins on many other brands of "raw" pili nuts are indigestible and not always clean. Even when treated, those skins can inhibit digestion, not to mention tasting just a bit weird. You'll find nothing but that creamy center in Mount Mayon's nuts. No skin, no strange flavors. All goodness.

Qualities of Mount Mayon's Volcanic Pili Nuts

  1. Each batch is Slo-Dried. This is a intense and crucial 17-step process unique to the minds behind Mount Mayon. It retains maximum flavor, amazing texture, and supreme nutrient density.
  2. High levels of heart-healthy omegas, similar to olives!
  3. Stupendous amounts of bio-available minerals
  4. Heart-healthy magnesium
  5. More vitamin E than all other nuts
  6. Plays well with other decadent foods like champagne
  7. Beyond organic to sustainable and planet-healthy
  8. No preservatives, no added oils.
  9. Non-GMO
  10. Kosher
  11. Halal
Where does the pili nut come from?

Harvested from tall, evergreen trees native to the Philippines known as pili trees (Canarium Ovatum), the delicate kernel is cased in a hard shell and borne in a fleshy and fibrous drupe. Pili fruits are easily recognizable when ripe by their dark, thick skin.

What are the health benefits of consuming pili nuts?

Well-handled and minimally-processed pili nuts will not only delight your taste buds with their ample flavor, but will also fortify your body. They can 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, essential fats support a healthy heart, lower blood cholesterol and help eliminate plaque that builds inside arteries. Moreover, the complete protein content is a notable bonus for vegans who are looking for ways to increase their essential amino acids intake and protect their muscle tissue. And last but not least, its rich mineral content may help regulate your body's internal environment and keep your organs functioning within optimum ranges.

About Mount Mayon, in their own words

We want to do something unique and social-minded, introducing to the international market and, at the same time, giving back to the Philippines.

Mount Mayon Company is also all about “Green Chemistry”. Our first multi-million dollar facility in Subic Bay, Philippines, features new direct solar lighting of the production floor, all organic waste products and HACCP level efficiency and hygiene. Environmentally friendly, we maintain a circular biologic economy to incur zero wastage. Mount Mayon’s production uses every aspect of our nut so there are no by-products. For example, we’re developing a system to use the outer shell and convert it to charcoal which villagers can use as a means of boiling water and cooking, and even a new way to create activated charcoal for industry.

Mount Mayon is focused on developing local programmes to ensure sustainability and fair trade. The company is collaborating with Philippines’ national and regional agricultural authorities, and a team from the University of the Philippines, to create the country’s first major cooperative for the expansion of the pili nut industry at the grass-roots level.

The Pili Tree itself is today classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a “vulnerable species”. We are initiating the creation of new nurseries in the provinces to grow saplings and grafts with which we subsidize farmers, expand the industry and protect the rainforest.