FOODS EATEN IN CHILDRENS’ BOOKS #2: Pine Needles
Pine needles seem to work as a kind of Moomin hay – they form their hibernation beds as well as serving as the staple diet. The preferred Mooomin drink – raspberry juice – lives on mostly as a cocktail ingredient, or blended with nasty cranberry – but pine needles have a culinary history of their own. They have health benefits – the ancient Egyptians used pine oil as a cure-all and the Aztecs used a flowers-and-needles composite as a deodorant. Pine Needle Soup “saved the pilgrims from scurvy” and was eaten to survive in WW2 prison camps. They can also serve as a garnish. Our house was littered with pine needles for most of January: we failed to take cooking advantage, and the rabbits refused to touch them.