Mugolio or Pine Bud Syrup would have to be the golden caramel of Italy. This incredibly rare and interesting syrup is made from foraged buds.
This Pine Bud Syrup is made by Eleanora Cuancia who started her business “Primitivizia” in 2004. (I have only seen one other brand-Ion, please tell me if there are any more). She traverses the parks and wilderness of the Dolomite Mountains that form the northern border of Italy. She is a foraging nomad picking seasonal wild herbs, fruits and vegetables that are incredibly rare, and preserving them as naturally as possible. She is one of the very few people to have permission to forage here.
The pine bud syrup is made from buds picked from Mugolio Pine trees. They bud in May and once collected they are put into small jars and left in the sun until their floral resinous liquid is released. This is then strained and combined with sugar. Its cooked down gently until a thick caramel syrup remains. The time and work involved making this unusual syrup is a process rarely seen today.
Mugolio is a burst of caramelised pine resin with hints of sweet delicate maple, rosemary and wild herbs and treacle. Sweet and aromatic with hints of savoury.
Try it drizzled over ricotta, yoghurt, gelato or panna cotta, aborio rice or even chia pudding. Perfect with sautéed apples and marscarpone. Works well with roasted meats, particularly Pork and Duck. It pairs well with rosemary, mint and oregano. Serve it with cheese. It will work well with goats cheese or Gorgonzola picante. It is amazing over strong cheese ravioli or used as an ingredient in paleo or raw “cooking” .This is a wild and exciting ingredient see what else you can dream up.