Pine nuts are prominently consumed in several cuisines worldwide, especially as part of Chinese cuisine, Italian cuisine, Japanese cuisine, Korean cuisine, Mongolian cuisine, New Mexican cuisine, and Russian cuisine. This widespread geographical consumption makes it recognizable within the context of global cuisine.

In Asia, two species in particular are widely harvested; Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis) in northeast Asia (the most important species in international trade) and chilgoza pine (Pinus gerardiana) in the western Himalaya.

Four other species, Siberian pine (Pinus sibirica), Siberian dwarf pine (Pinus pumila), Chinese white pine (Pinus armandii) and lacebark pine (Pinus bungeana), are also used to a lesser extent.

Russia is the largest producer of Pinus sibirica nuts in the world, followed by Mongolia, which produces over 10,000 tonnes of forest-grown nuts annually. The majority of harvest is exported to China. Afghanistan is an important source of pine nuts, behind China and Korea.

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