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Araucaria angustifolia popular name is "Pinheiro do Paraná" (Paraná's Pine) and it is a commom tree in my state, Paraná, southern Brazil. It is also the symbol tree to this state. Here are some seeds of araucaria angustifolia.

Every year from the autumn to winter, araucaria's seeds are mature. In the tips of the araucaria's branches there will be the "pinhas" (cones of this seeds). When mature, the seeds begin to fall to the ground, and its time to pick it up. It´s a kind of nice thing to do with the children!

There is a beautiful bird named "Gralha Azul" (the state's symbol bird - Azure Jay - Cyanocorax caeruleus) that like to eat this seeds a lot, but he uses to hide some seeds to eat later, and when he hide it, in fact, he plant it.

The female araucarias generate the "pinhão", while the male doesn´t produce it.

"Pinhão" is a delicious delicacy, and the best way to cook it is like we prepare a chestnut, boiled. It is better tasteful than chestnut!!!
There is another traditional indian way to prepare and eat it: we take some dry branches that fall from the araucaria and we put some "pinhões" between it and put fire. The branches will burn fast and when the fire finish we can take the "pinhões" from the ashes already roasted. Just take of the flesh from the burned shell and eat it plain! It´s delicious!
I´ve picked up all this "pinhões" with my 5yo son a few days ago, and of course we ate a little bit indian style!
I will try to show you later the "pinhas" (the cones of this seeds).
Hope you like it, and if you come to southern Brazil from april to july or august, don´t miss to try "pinhão". You can eat it plain, with salt, with butter or even with bacon! Or you can try it like the indians, inside the bush, in a "sapecada" (the word to the indians way to prepare it in the fire).
Regards,
Zeca

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Additional Photos by Jose A Hauer (zeca) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2801 W: 157 N: 4803] (19762)
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