Although we address them as nuts, pecans are not actually nuts. Instead, they’re drupes or fruits that came from a species of hickory. The tree is native to northern Mexico and the southern United States, primarily in Georgia, New Mexico, and Texas.
Pecans first became known to Europeans in the 16th century. But before that, they were widely consumed and traded by the Native Americans. Spanish explorers were the first Europeans to come into contact with pecans. They found it in Louisiana, Texas, and Mexico. Then, they took it to Europe, Asia, and Africa, where the nut has been popular since.
Nevertheless, Texas loves pecans. In 1919, the pecan tree became the official state tree. In 2001, the pecan nut became the official state “health nut.” And in 2013, pecan pie became the official state pie. On top of that, the town of San Saba is known to be “The Pecan Capital of the World” and the home of the “Mother Tree.”
Species: C. illinoinensis
Binomial Name: Carya illinoinensis K. Koch
- People pronounce the word “pecan” in many ways, some are regional while the others aren’t. However, the correct pronunciation remains disputed.
- Native Americans made pecan milk for the infants and the elderly; however, they are also the ones who made a fermented intoxicating pecan drink called “powcohicora.”
- The National Pecan Day in the United States is celebrated every April 14th.
- The National Pecan Pie Day in the United States is celebrated every July 12th.
- The city of Okmulgee in Oklahoma is home to the world’s largest pecan pie, pecan cookie, and pecan brownie.