What part of a pine cone is edible?

Some types of pineapples have a part that is edible. Edible means that you can eat something. There are about 20 different types of pine trees with cones large enough to harvest pine nuts. Humans can eat the nut, but not any other part of the pine cone.

You can see what the harvested pine nuts look like in this photo. Pineapples can be eaten in two ways. The more common of the two is to eat the seeds of a female pineapple, better known as pine nuts or pignoli. Most types are not much larger than a sunflower seed, are light cream colored and have a sweet, slightly nutty flavor.

Although they may be difficult to digest, technically some green pine cones can be eaten when properly prepared. Pine nuts, commonly known as pine seeds, are considerably sweeter edible seeds found inside pineapples. Proteins, carbohydrates, fats, magnesium, vitamin K and vitamin B1 (thiamine) are present in pine nuts. Crossbills, woodpeckers, squirrels, and other forest animals rely heavily on pineapples as a food source.

A third way to consume an element from a pine cone is to collect the spores of male pineapples in spring. In fact, pineapples were once a much appreciated part of the dinosaur diet, especially for the “duck-billed” dinosaurs or Parasaurolophus, whose rows of teeth were capable of chewing hard pineapples. However, yew trees, Norfolk Island pines, lodgepole pines, and ponderosa pine are poisonous and should be avoided at all costs. If you're going to try to eat a pineapple, you first need to know a little bit about what a pine cone is and isn't.

These spores have nutritional values similar to those of pine nuts and can be used to thicken broths and stews or as a substitute for flour. Okay, now that you're sure you're seeing a real pine tree with pineapples, let's talk about how to harvest and eat the different parts of the pine tree. Foresters had to wear helmets when working in the areas where these trees grew to avoid being knocked down by the fall of a pine cone. Once the female pineapple reaches maturity, the previously closed scales of the pineapples open to expose the seeds, allowing them to germinate with the pollen from the male cones.

A single ounce of pine nuts provides 191 calories, 3.9 grams of protein, 3.7 grams of carbohydrates and 19 grams of fat. There are red pine (pinus resinosa) and mugo pine (pinus mugo), the latter is not native to the area, but is used as an ornamental low-growing pine in the native landscape of the mountainous region of Europe. Keep in mind that pineapples aren't there as a personal supply of crunchy wood to eat, but they're designed to do one thing. When you imagine a pine cone, you're probably imagining a female pine cone with woody, spiral-shaped scales.

The sugar pine tree, found on the west coast, is one of the tallest edible pine trees in North America, reaching over 200 feet or more.