Pablo Neruda & Araucaria araucana nuts.

img_0272Subject of a poem by Pablo Neruda the Araucaria araucana trees hold their crowns way up high in the sky. So a recent trip with my fellow students to Castle Kennedy Gardens & Monreith provided us the perfect opportunity to sample nuts from these living relics that preceded dinosaurs in their native land of Patagonia.

IMG_0139.JPGOnce you manage to peel off the tough leathery outer armoury & papery inner skin a cream coloured floury textured nut awaits, similar to a pine nut but larger.

IMG_0140.JPGPacked full of goodness it was a staple food for the Native Indians of Chile.  The Pehuenche, People of the araucarias, revered this tree – it was central to their lives & used these beautiful large edible nuts or Piñones to make bread & a nutritious drink amongst other things.

IMG_0143.JPGSampling my first ever Araucaria araucana nut in Castle Kennedy Araucaria araucana Tree Avenue.

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I loved them so much I went foraging for more nuts at Monreith with fellow students; Gergő & Bálint.

P1110920.JPGArucaria forest at Monreith. Photo credit Deák Gergő.

Further Reading/Related Links:

The Pehuenche, People of the araucarias

Auracaria forests

Pablo Neruda Oda a la araucaria araucana