The sweet woody aroma of the piñon pine smells like home to many New Mexicans. In late fall and early winter, you might catch the wafts of burning wood or roasting piñon nuts, subtle cues to cozy in with loved ones.
Families start collecting piñon nuts in August, unearthing them from cracked pinecones, selecting the darkest ones, and roasting them to release their buttery-earthy flavor.
“It brings families together, and it is a fun thing to do in the fall, especially, when the days are a little cooler and the New Mexico skies are just so beautiful,” says Janice Dunnahoo, an author, archivist, and historian from Roswell. “The weather is perfect that time of year, right after the first frost.”