Nothing says Christmas like sweet, sugary treats and the smell of pine trees. So why not have both at the same time?
That’s the mentality behind a viral recipe, which has countless Instagrammers learning that, yes, you can actually make “candied pinecones.” The lesser-known food item is getting plenty of hype thanks to forager and food influencer Alexis Nikole (@blackforager), who posted a clip about it earlier this year.
In the video, Nikole shows her followers how to turn pinecones into a delicious candied snack.
To start, Nikole retrieves a few sticky pinecones from a nearby tree and then stores them in water. After a few days, she gets ready to cook them.
“Oh it smells so good,” she says as she opens the jar. “Like Christmas and lemons had a beautiful baby.”
From there, she boils the pinecones in a mixture of equal parts water and sugar. Nikole then turns off the heat because, as she explains, the pinecones need to soak up the syrup before it becomes too thick.
As a result, Nikole repeats the process three times over the course of a day — boiling the cones and then letting them sit — until they’re finally ready. She then puts them into mason jars with the sugar-water mix and gets ready to try them.
“It’s like candy,” she says as she tries one.
As Nikole explains, candied pinecones are a somewhat common treat in Russia and Eastern Europe. Most Americans seemed to have no idea you could eat them. Many commented on the video to share their shock.
“I didn’t know pinecones were edible,” one user wrote.
“I’m so doing this,” another added.
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