Our All-American Heritage
With their mighty trees taking root along the rich, fertile banks of the many rivers flowing throughout the vast plains of the southeastern United States more than 100 million years ago, pecans are the only tree nut native to North America and have not been found growing naturally anywhere else in the world.
The pecan’s storied past predates the founding of our country; yet, pecans have become embedded into American traditions, culture and, of course, cuisine. Today, pecans are one of the few indigenous plants to have evolved into a highly coveted and internationally traded crop, with American growers producing over 80% of the world’s pecan supply.
Wild pecans were a staple in the diets of Native Americans, who originally referred to them as pecanes and relied on their nourishing kernels as a major food source in the fall months. They also created what could be considered the original nut milk called powcohicora by fermenting pecan powder into a drink.
After centuries foraging wild pecans, Native Americans began planting pecan trees and trading their harvest to European explorers, who quickly became enamored and helped spread the lore—and seed—of this local delicacy.
Pecan growers recognize they’re taking care of something special. Numerous American families have proudly passed down the traditions of the trade for generation after generation.
Today, American Pecans are the product of well-nourished soil, warm climate, strong sun, an adequate water supply, and the nurturing of passionate growers. It also requires immense patience – considering that it takes nearly 10 years before a pecan tree is in full production of nuts. Fortunately, the stately pecan tree – the largest member of the hickory family – can produce nuts for 100 years or more.
Pecan growers recognize they’re taking care of something special. Numerous American families have proudly passed down the traditions of the trade for multiple generations. Pecans not only have a treasured place in the history of America, they’ve given their distinctive flavor to many uniquely American dishes, including everyone’s favorite, pecan pie.
With its rich, buttery texture and naturally sweet taste, along with multiple nutrition benefits, the American Pecan continues to delight both at home and abroad, and we’re certain you’ll love it, too!