Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pine Shoots: Edible 24

Back in college, Thag and I read in Peterson's Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants that one can take the fresh shoots of the white pine and turn them into a candy. So we followed the directions and did just that. This seems to be one of the cases where a writer writes about something they've never done. I would not call them a candy--maybe a garnish--the kind a person admires and then puts on the side of their plate.

So this year, we were at a loss with what to do with the pine shoots. I searched on line to find a better "candy" recipe. I found no candy recipes at all. In fact, I only found one obscure recipe for pine shoots at all--a pine shoot, hazelnut, salt dip for chicken. This sounded better than the candy, so I decided to experiment.

I took 1/4 cup pine shoots, a tablespoon of walnuts, a tablespoon of pinenuts, and some salt, whipped them around in my mini food processer until well ground up, and used them as a rub for some chicken legs. I rubbed the meat and let sit in the fridge for several hours before baking. I poured a little melted butter over the top before putting into the oven.

Thag, our housemate, and I all ate the chicken. It had a distinctive piney taste. If you like fresh herbs, you might very well enjoy this meal. It was certainly edible; on our rating scale it was more than a 2, but not quite a 3. All three of us agreed we would have preferred the meal without the pine shoots, but we finished it nevertheless. Needless to say, I think our pine shoot experimentation is at an end. This edible will not be in our cooking repetoire.


  1. we did a wild edibles group study my first year... can't remember who all was in it, but one girl made bread with pine bark flour (from the inner bark: dried and ground up). also very pine-y. one girl ate so much of the bread she said it gave her heart palpitations, not sure if that's a normal reaction.

  2. Oh dear! From what we read, pine bark flour is so difficult to procure and make and the flavor is so unpleasant that it is to be used only in true survival situations. Needless to say, we didn't even put it on the list. Despite its stunning beauty, the White Pine has failed to impress us with its culinary offerings.