The Piñon Nut, our local edible bounty

Article by Dustin Heron Urban

Forests – July 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

I WAS RECENTLY SNACKING on pine nuts, and the bag in which they were contained read “Pine nuts really do come from trees!” “How enlightening,” I thought to myself. “What if I cared to know what type of tree?” The ingredient list merely read: “pine nuts.” Although the name makes it quite plain that these buttery little vanilla-colored morsels come from pine trees, there are at least 24 commonly occurring members of the genus Pinus in the West and many more across the globe and at least 20 pine species produce nuts good for eating. There was no way for me to easily deduce which species of pine that bag of pine nuts came from, but come autumn, there will be no mistaking where my pine nuts are from: Pinus edulis, the Colorado Piñon.

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