La Dolce Vita House

La Dolce Vita

Island panorama - 360°

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Fragrant December – Pine, Agave and Prickly Juniper

The Tourism Office in cooperation with the Fragrant Island Garden is continuing with project “Fragrances and tastes of Lošinj”. The event „Fragrances and Tastes of Lošinj“ has spread to the whole town, camps, hotels, tourist agencies, restaurants.....The fragrance network has expanded in all forms, from floral displays, potpourri, liqueurs, juices, cakes, fragrant decorations to gastro-menus where, in various ways, autochthonous island plants are used.

Island Lošinj

PINE (lat. Pinus halepensis Mill. – Aleppian pine)

 

(lat. Pinus pinea L. – Stone pine, pine kernel)

 

The Aleppian pine is a specifically Mediterranean tree, which grows along our Adriatic coast and islands. Stone pine is a highly decorative Mediterranean tree. It grows alone or in smaller clusters.

 

PINE TREE IN YOUR GARDEN AND MINE

 

The Aleppian pine grows to a height of 20 m. The trunk is mainly twisted, rarely straight. The bark in saplings is smooth and of a light grey colour, while in older trees it is blackish to reddish brown and furrowed.

 

The Stone pine tree grows to a height of 25 m. The treetop is umbrella-shaped. The bark is reddish brown, deeply furrowed and cracked.

 

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

 

The seeds of the Stone pine (pine kernel) are edible and extremely tasty. The flavour of the seed is pleasant with a mild resinous smell (like turpentine), which fades at higher temperatures. Pine kernel can be eaten raw and it is added to meat dishes, especially game, as well as various sweet dishes.

 

CONTRAINDICATIONS:none known

 

INTERESTING FACT

 

The inner husk (cambium) can be dried and ground into a nourishing flour which can be mixed with bread flour when there is a shortage.

 

IMPORTANT

 

Aleppian pine sheds a huge amount of needles every year, far more than any other type of pine tree. The decomposition of needles in the humification and mineralisation process creates fertile forest soil.

 

 

 

AGAVE (lat. Agave americana L.)

 

A plant indigenous mainly to Latin America and Mexico. It was brought to the island of Lošinj and flourishes there.

 

AGAVE IN MY GARDEN AND YOURS

 

The plant has thick, succulent leaves and in the centre there is a stalk from which several flowers sprout. The agave blooms only once!

 

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

 

The flowers, succulent leaves, stalk and juice of the agave are all edible. It is known to have medicinal properties.

 

INTERESTING FACT

 

Some agaves blossom in 10, 40 or 100 years. It all depends on the climate. After blossoming, the plant withers but before this, it gets rid of new shoots on the side.

 

IMPORTANT

 

The well-known Mexican tequila is made from the flowers and juice of Agave.

 

 

 

JUNIPER (LAT. Juniperus oxycedrus L.)

 

JUNIPER IN MY AND YOUR GARDEN

 

The juniper is a dense spreadout evergreen bush-like tree. The juniper on Lošinj island most often does not reach a height of more than 3 meters. It is recognized by its light-green very prickly needle-like leaves that are up to 2 cm long. There are 3 needles in a whorl. Juniper fruits are small fleshly berrries that are first light-green, and when 2 years go by they ripen and are reddish brown.

 

NUTRITIVE VALUE

 

It is used as an aperitive, as an eficient stomach restorative and as a liquid for therapeutic massage against rheumatic diseas.

 

IMPORTANT TO KNOW

 

If you wish to prepare a balmy brandy called smrikuja, pick ripe juniper fruit in autumn and immerse into quality grape brandy or some other scentless brandy. Let the berries bath for several months.

 

INTERESTING DETAILS

 

The name is derived from the Greek oxys meaning prickly, and cedros meaning tree.