Wildcrafted Update: Making Mugolio (Fermented Pine Cone Syrup)

It’s been 11 days since I started the Mugolio and it’s been a fascinating process to watch the maceration occur: fermentation really is like magic!

Almost immediately, the liquid inside those green cones began to seep out into the sugar. I knew that would occur, of course, but the amount of liquid that came out was surprising. Who knew those tightly-closed fists of cones were holding so much water inside?

Fermentation began soon after maceration began, too, as evidenced by the tiny bubbles at the surface of the liquid.

Also, when I opened the largest jar, there was an audible hiss as the gases created by fermentation escaped. It was pretty cool! Not as explosive as other ferments can be, but there was definitely pressure building in that canning jar.

As of today, most of the sugar, which previously sat atop the cones, has migrated to the bottom of the jars and is immersed in the liquid pine cone goodness. I know it’s good because it smells wonderful (and I sampled some from the spoon that I used to push some of the cones below the surface of the liquid, no sense wasting it!) – it already tastes like sweet, fragrant camping among the pines.

There’s still a long way to go with the Mugolio, but I can already tell that I’ll be making this very special syrup each year that the pines offer their green cones. This is a two month long process, so I’ll update again as we get closer to the finish line. It’ll be worth the wait!

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