Pinus edulis, the pinyon pine is the state tree of New Mexico. On a recent trip to New Mexico I had the opportunity to gather the nuts from this extraordinary wild edible. This species of Pine is found in New Mexico, extreme West Texas, Utah, Colorado, Arizona. Pinyon is a small pine and is often know as the Colorado Pinyon or two needle pinyon.
Gather the pinecones in late August - September. The cones are quite sticky, so make sure you wear gloves when you gather, I did not have any gloves with me, so it took a while to remove the sticky mess from my hands. If the cones are closed, spread them out and wait till they open. The tiny seeds are easily removed. Crack the shell and enjoy a tasty western treat! Here is a link to a Mother Earth News article on the Pinyon: http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/pinon-nuts-zmaz77jazgoe.aspx