Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

pili nut the best known and commercially the most important of a group of nuts borne by trees of the genus Canarium. Most of these grow in or near SE Asia. Wild trees have three kernels in the stone. In the trees which are cultivated for their nuts, only one kernel develops, providing a large nut. Some species are grown for their edible fruits, but these are less important.

Pili nuts proper come from C. ovatum, native to the Philippines where ‘pili’ is the local name. They are rarely cultivated, but are an important food for Filipinos, who have a near monopoly in processed pili products. Production is centred in the Bicol region. They have also been introduced elsewhere in SE Asia and to C. America.