Much of my ill-spent youth was ill-spent under pine trees. Many a beer can I collected there, but nary a pine nut.
Collecting pine nuts gives you a whole new appreciation for home-made pesto. It’s a labour intensive process.
First you need a grubby little pine nut picker.
See those little black dots jammed between the pine petals? Squirrels aren’t idiots, there are little nuts hiding in those cones.
There is obviously a more elegant way, but we get them out by banging them on a picnic table. Please enlighten me, you experienced pine nut pickers out there.
But don’t start munching yet.
You’ll hurt your teeth. “Told you so.”
Those little shells are super tough. Time for more high-tech banging.
Between a rock and a hard place preferably.
On the left you have the nut with shell, fresh from the cone. Bang it with a rock and the nut in the middle will fly out. Just peel off the papery brown covering and you have something you may recognize on the right. A yummy little pine nut.
Picking sticky stuff off the forest floor. Banging. More banging. All good stuff to work up an appetite and ensure that few pine nuts actually make it home.