Are \"pine nuts\" really nuts?


Hello, everyone. I just found out that my five year old is allergic to peanuts and "mixed nuts."

Unfortunately, I live in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where food labeling is often unclear or non-existant, and where many foreign women do not take health issues seriously (Dubai is almost 70% expatriate--people are from all over).

I have had people trying to feed my child junk food and unsafe food (choking risk food) since she was old enough to eat. Some people have slipped her candy behind my back because they thought she was deprived. It is going to be a challenge to enforce my rules on nuts.

My question today is on "pine nuts," also refered to as "snobar." This may sound like a dumb question, but no one I know is sure whether they are true nuts or a type of seed or "other" category legume. We like to use these in holiday cooking, especially. Does anyone know about this? Thanks for your help.

On Aug 7, 2002

My daughter is tree nut allergic. A pine nut is a tree nut, and is to be avoided.

On Aug 8, 2002

Yes, it is a true nut. Another name is Pignoli.


On Aug 16, 2002

Hi Ummariam - I'm sorry to hear about your difficult circumstances. To reinforce what others have said, we just went to the allergist yesterday, and mentioned pine nuts. We love pesto! However, he said to avoid them. Interestingly, he said some people also have trouble with lentils and chick peas. I forget the botanical relationship between them and nuts (are they legumes?), but thought it was an interesting piece of info. Hang in there, and be sure to come to this site for support! Mary Beth

On Aug 19, 2002

I just wanted to add that I typically consider Italian restaurants (generally) safe. Many put pine nuts in/on almost everything...toast them and sprinkle here and there, and they're in pesto. My DD is TNA and PA, but she's never reacted in these restaurants. She usually has "buttery noodles" though, and isn't airborne-sensitive (we think...haven't exactly shoved her face in a jar of PB [img][/img]). This has me re-thinking my previous notion of Italian restaurants being safest for us. Beth

On Aug 19, 2002

Hi Juliasmom,

To answer your question, *peanuts* are a legume and they are in the same family as lentils, chick peas, lima beans & soybeans.

Each legume has to be tested individually to see if one is allergic to them.

------------------ Stay Safe!


On Aug 21, 2002

Pine nuts are considered a tree nut and per FAN many people have had severe reactions to them - although I doubt that airbourne sensitivity is a big issue - they really don't have a scent or "dust" like peanuts or other whole nuts might.