A tree cultivation which can provide an extra income without special care and with almost no cost is the known umbrella pine. It is a tree that grows easily in our country, but because it is not used insert the pine nuts from foreign countries, such as Turkey and Spain. The umbrella pine grown systematically in Turkey and Spain for fruit, known as pine nuts, used in cooking and baking. In Turkey, in particular, especially in the area around the Pergamon, the hills covered with pine plantations in wide planting link to trees bearing fruit.
The umbrella pine can be grown in almost all regions of the country. In Greece it is particularly widespread and occurs mainly in the following regions: Western Peloponnese, Crete, Ios, Naxos, Skiathos, Lesvos, Samos, Rhodes, Zakynthos, Kefalonia, Greece Central Coast, Evia, Chalkidiki, Athos. Kythira and Corfu are cultivated as in some other areas.
The umbrella pine usually reaches 15-20 m. In height. It has typical umbrella shape with short trunk and round flat top. The bark is thick, sorrel, deeply etched by wide, vertical plates. It has flexible needles in bundles of two, 10-20 cm long. The young trees have different 2-4 cm long needles. With glaucous-green color.
The seeds of pine: The cones are oval to spherical, large length 8-15 m. And it takes 36 months to mature. The seeds are large, length 2 mil., Tan with a black coating that easily goes. The 3-year ripe cones open in the spring of the third year soon begins to rise the temperature and release their seeds.
The elongated in shape koukounarosporos, from cones of pines, estimated from too old for the soft and almost creamy texture, sweet and smooth taste and light resinous aroma. The koukounarosporoi usually collected by hand. The taste often resembles that of the kernel, although it is more resinous and spicier.
In the market we find Greek -in very small quantities from October to March and especially Christmas, so have a great demand. But larger quantities koukounarosporou moving in the Greek market are imported from Turkey, Spain and China, usually at Christmas are in high demand. Eaten raw or cooked and used in cooking and baking.
The umbrella pine is a species of Mediterranean pine that grows in southern Europe. Indeed, it is the most common type of ornamental pine in Italy. It grows in many regions of our country. Creates forests in western Peloponnese, but is used in afforestation and beautifying our islands (known location “Koukounaries” Skiathos), Halkidiki, and even in the North. Greece, where of course the climatic-conditions are suitable. Prefers sandy, deep and acidic soil, near the sea, while clearing very compact, loamy. It photophilous kind and even more of all kinds of Greek pine.
The pine nuts are widely consumed in Europe and Asia, already from the Palaeolithic period. The ancient Greeks and Romans appreciated the rich nutritional value and perhaps this was the reason that the thought and a symbol of virility and fertility. During the Middle Ages, in fact, they used to serve a biscuit with pine that had as its main objective the enhancement of sexual performance.
The koukounarosporos is rich in protein and omega – 3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for the cardiovascular system. Still, it is a rich source of vitamins, fiber, folic acid, calcium, phosphorus and iron, and may serve as food supplement thanks to its high energy value. Note that 100 g. Koukounarosporou equivalent to 570 calories. The initial origin of pine are Portugal, Spain and North Africa. Systematically cultivated for 6000 years for its edible seeds, which are marketed by the people since ancient times.
It is a fruit that is eaten raw and accompanies all dishes hot or cold classic or modern. In salads, in rice in rice dishes and pasta. The most famous use is certainly Italian pesto sauce. also be eaten as a snack and in addition to all types of snacks (grapes, nuts, etc.).