Mugolio is a distinctive syrup created by legendary forager Eleonora Cunaccia in the heart of the Dolomite Alps National Park in Trento, Italy. Eleonora is one of the few residents in the area given permission to forage in the park. In early May, at about 2000 meters, she gathers by hand the tender young buds of the Mugo pine. Her family has always collected it, and she revisits the places where her grandfather and father went, only taking one bud per branch so as to protect the plant. To make 100 grams of Mugolio, about 100 small pine cone buds are needed! She macerates the fragrant buds in water and sugar during the sunny summer months until September, when the must is filtered and aged. The resulting sap, strong in flavor, is cooked over a low fire with additional sugar until thick and dark brown. Eleonora always notes, “La natura ha il suo ritmo e bisogna sapere aspettare!” (Nature has its rhythm and you need to know how to wait!).
Mugolio bursts with the flavor of dark honey and woodsy pine, plus notes of delicate maple, rosemary, and wild rhubarb. It has been featured in Bon Appétit, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times!
Drizzle over a pork roast, grilled chicken, or very ripe cheeses. It is also wonderful on gelato, panna cotta, yogurt, and roasted fruit. Try substituting it for maple syrup for a new flavor. Even perfect in cocktails like a martini!