Saturday, July 17, 2010
That carefree attitude evaporated this year, when pine nuts disappeared from Costco's shelves for months, then reappeared with a shocking $30-a-bag price tag. Apparently, the usual suspects—supply and demand—are to blame. Crummy harvests combined with high summer demand sent prices skyrocketing.
Though we swallowed hard and bought a bag of Costco's $30 pine nuts, we now dole them out more carefully. We'll still use them in basil-based pestos, but the days of devil-may-care salad garnishing are over for the foreseeable future.
Thankfully, there's a cheap substitute: roasted, salted sunflower seeds. The seeds work well in salads, just as crunchy and savory as their hideously expensive pine-based brethren. And a one-pound bag costs less than $3 at Trader Joe's.