Paraná pine nut (Araucaria angustifolia) (or Brazil pine nut) is an edible seed similar to pine nuts. The tree is an endangered species.
Araucaria angustifolia, the Paraná pine, Brazilian pine or candelabra tree (pinheiro-do-paraná or pinheiro brasileiro), is a species in the conifer genus Araucaria. Although the common names in various languages refer to the species as a “pine”, it is not a true pine.
The seeds, similar to large pine nuts, are edible, and are extensively harvested in southern Brazil (Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul states), a habit particularly important for the region’s small population of Native Americans. The seeds, called pinhão [piˈɲɐ̃w̃] are popular as a winter snack.
The city of Lages, in Santa Catarina state, holds a popular pinhão fair, in which hot wine and boiled araucaria seeds are consumed. In Brazil, 3,400 tonnes (7,500,000 lbs) of seeds are collected annually which, combined with extensive logging, seriously threatens the regeneration of the species. The seeds are very important for the native animals. Several mammals and birds eat pinhão, and it has an important ecological role in Araucaria moist forests (a sub-type of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest). The species is widely used in folk medicine.
The tree is considered an endangered species.