The mugo pine is a shrub or small round pyramidal plant, growing 4 to 10 feet tall. Mugo pines grow best in moist loam soil in sun to partial shade. The Alps are an ideal growing environment: high altitude, crisp air and filtered sun. At the end of May, the trees grow new pinecones and gems (buds). After pollination of the gems, they are picked and put in glass pots that are then left in full sunshine until late autumn. The liquid that is formed is filtered and sugar is added. The resulting syrup is then cooked over a slow fire until golden in color and with heightened pine flavor. Actually quite delicate in flavor, it is ideally enjoyed over ricotta cheese, Panna Cotta, or with lightly sautéed apples finished with a drizzle of mugolio and mascarpone. Also enjoy drizzled over gelato with fresh peaches.