quinta-feira, 29 de abril de 2010

The Pinhão and the cold weather of Curitiba

How do we know that winter is coming in Curitiba? When the Pinhão (Araucaria angustifolia seeds) began to be sold in the markets of the city. A Curitiba tradition, this seed of Araucaria can be found cooked in many houses, at the June festivals and even on the streets, where vendors on street corners sell portions of cooked pinhões directly from big steaming pots. In early June there should be at Osório Square, another edition of the Pinhão Festival, where the seed can be purchased in-natura, boiled in water and in a variety of recipes (bread, soups, candies, pies, pastries and much more). I can tell you that it tastes really good!

A little science: Pinhão is the generic name of the seed of several species of Pinaceae and Araucariaceae, gymnosperms plants, ie, which seed is not enclosed in a fruit.The pinhão is formed into a cone (Pinha), which in time will be opened to release the pinhões. In the pinha (a sample of Pinus elliottii), the seeds are endowed with a film as a kind of wing, which takes off the cone and allows the mature seed to be dispersed by wind, thus starting the growth process of a new pine tree.

In Brazil, the term Pinhão usually refers to the seeds of Araucaria angustifolia, a tree of outstanding cultural, economic and environmental relevance in the south of Brazil.

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