Pecan Fun Facts
- The pecan tree has been the Texas state tree since 1919. It is usually from 70 – 100 feet in height, but can grow to 150 feet.
- The name “pecan” is a Native American word of Algonquin origin that was used to describe “all nuts requiring a stone to crack.”
- The pecan is heart healthy and contains antioxidants, 19 vitamins and minerals, fiber and “healthy fats.” One of the mineral components is zinc, which is important in producing testosterone in both males and females, key in sexual desire. An alternative to oysters?
- Native Americans utilized and cultivated wild pecans in the 1500s. It is the only tree native to North America and is considered one of the most valuable North American nut species.
- Originating in central and eastern North America and the river valleys of Mexico, pecans were widely used by pre-colonial residents. Pecans were favored because they were accessible to waterways, easier to shell than other North American nut species and of course, for their great taste.
- Astronauts took pecans to the moon in two Apollo missions.
- Texas and Georgia are the largest producers of commercial pecans in the U.S. This country produces 80 – 90 percent of the world’s pecan supply.
Pecans in the Shell
- Pecan is a type of hickory, most significant as a nut crop. However, the wood from the tree is also used in agricultural implements, baseball bats, hammer handles, furniture, wall paneling, flooring, religious carvings and firewood.
- Some of the larger pecan shellers process 150,000 pounds of pecans a day, enough for 300,000 pecan pies.
- Pecan trees only produce nuts every two years, approximately 25 – 45 pounds per tree. Researchers are working to develop a tree that produces nuts annually.
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