Serra Catarinense Araucaria Nut

Slow Food Presidium

Brazil

Santa Catarina

Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves

Back to the archive >
Serra Catarinense Araucaria Nut

The Serra Catarinense is a mountainous, forested area in the state of Santa Catarina, whose economy has traditionally depended on the use of forest resources and livestock. Human and animal diets in the area have always been based on Araucaria angustifolia, a native tree of southern Brazil. It is an ancient tree that can reach 40 m in height and lives for an average of 200-300 years, although this can be as long as 500 years. Though the Serra Catarinense was completely covered with araucaria some centuries ago, for the last few decades the area has been experiencing a systematic replacement of these trees by Canadian pine (Pinus eucariotis), which is much more profitable due to high market demand for its timber. It is estimated that no more than 1% of the boundless araucaria forest of southern Brazil now remains. Those buying land and chopping down the araucaria forest pay minimal penalties, and are quickly more than compensated by the profits made from selling Canadian pine timber. The Aparados da Serra and Iguaçu National Parks have areas set side for araucaria, but these do not exceed 3000 hectares.

The araucaria pine nut, or pinhão, is the seed of Araucaria angustifolia. It is about 4 cm long, elongated and ivory in color, covered in a tough skin and held in large cones. Historic research and archeological finds show that the Kaingang and Xokleng natives lived from hunting and gathering pine nuts. The fruit was also an essential nutrient used by other indigenous peoples over many centuries, as well as by Italian and German settlers who came to this area.

Always considered a poor person’s food—a matafome (“hunger killer”)—it is included in many traditional dishes, however its value has never been officially recognized at the national level. It is normally boiled for use in a range of different preparations or cooked directly on the stove in gatherers’ houses. The two traditional recipes based on the nuts are paçoca de pinhão (boiled and sliced pine nuts mixed with minced meat) and entrevero (a pot of vegetables and cured meat with pine nuts). Traditionally, indigenous peoples ate them in sapecada: nuts covered with araucaria leaves and placed on a fire; roasted, peeled and eaten in the forest.

Back to the archive >
Most of the gatherers of araucaria nuts in the Serrana region are members of the Ecoserra Cooperative, an organization promoting sustainable gathering and defense of the ecosystem, preserving the araucaria forests and helping producers to obtain a better income. The Slow Food Foundation collaborates with Ecoserra in order to defend the traditional ecosystem through public awareness campaigns, so consumption of araucaria nuts can be reconsidered and the importance of the trees highlighted. At the same time a project is being developed involving processing of pine nuts with the Grupo Ecológico Renascer de Urubici (an association of gatherers and processors created in 1996 and linked to Ecoserra). With the support of the chefs, Slow Food promotes the organization of workshops, focused on the production of traditional processed products based on araucaria nuts to be promoted on the local and the national market. It is a project which could be replicated in other communities of the Serra Catarinense.

Production area
Municipalities of Lages, Curitibanos, Urubici, São Joaquim, Painel, Bom Retiro, Urupema, Bom Jardim da Serra, Bocaina do Sul e Palmeira, Serra Catarinense territory, State of Santa Catarina.

Technical partners
Sindicato dos Trabalhadores Rurais; Unitagri (Cooperativa de Serviços Técnicos Agrícolas); Grupo Coração da Serra; Acolhida na Colônia.
40 producers, involved in different networks: Associação Renascer, Ecológica Ecoserra cooperative and Centro Vianei de Educação Popular. Moreover, about 200 producers are active in the promotion activities of the Serra Catarinense Araucaria Nut.
Slow Food del Presidium coordinator
Giselle Miotto
+55 (48) 996 214 231
g.miotto@slowfoodbrasil.com

Presidium producers’ coordinator
Patrini de Oliveira
+55 (49) 99168 4013
patrinioliveira@yahoo.com.br
Most of the gatherers of araucaria nuts in the Serrana region are members of the Ecoserra Cooperative, an organization promoting sustainable gathering and defense of the ecosystem, preserving the araucaria forests and helping producers to obtain a better income. The Slow Food Foundation collaborates with Ecoserra in order to defend the traditional ecosystem through public awareness campaigns, so consumption of araucaria nuts can be reconsidered and the importance of the trees highlighted. At the same time a project is being developed involving processing of pine nuts with the Grupo Ecológico Renascer de Urubici (an association of gatherers and processors created in 1996 and linked to Ecoserra). With the support of the chefs, Slow Food promotes the organization of workshops, focused on the production of traditional processed products based on araucaria nuts to be promoted on the local and the national market. It is a project which could be replicated in other communities of the Serra Catarinense.

Production area
Municipalities of Lages, Curitibanos, Urubici, São Joaquim, Painel, Bom Retiro, Urupema, Bom Jardim da Serra, Bocaina do Sul e Palmeira, Serra Catarinense territory, State of Santa Catarina.

Technical partners
Sindicato dos Trabalhadores Rurais; Unitagri (Cooperativa de Serviços Técnicos Agrícolas); Grupo Coração da Serra; Acolhida na Colônia.
40 producers, involved in different networks: Associação Renascer, Ecológica Ecoserra cooperative and Centro Vianei de Educação Popular. Moreover, about 200 producers are active in the promotion activities of the Serra Catarinense Araucaria Nut.
Slow Food del Presidium coordinator
Giselle Miotto
+55 (48) 996 214 231
g.miotto@slowfoodbrasil.com

Presidium producers’ coordinator
Patrini de Oliveira
+55 (49) 99168 4013
patrinioliveira@yahoo.com.br

Territory

StateBrazil
RegionSanta Catarina